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8-K
INTERPUBLIC GROUP OF COMPANIES, INC. filed this Form 8-K on 10/30/2017
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Mr. Roth:
I do want to add, we’ve been talking about getting to investment grade, and we always said one of the reasons investment grade was important to us was to have a commercial paper program. So we have that up and running. It’s a very effective way for us to handle the ups and downs in terms of cash requirements given the volatility on a quarter-to-quarter basis. And the commercial paper program is doing very well, and we expect to see that move forward as one of the tools we have to manage our cash flow. So I think we’re very well-positioned, both in terms of handling our maturities on the balance sheet, as well as handling the working capital ups and downs that Frank was talking to through all the different commercial paper programs and access to capital markets that we have.

Mr. Swinburne:
Okay, thank you both.

Mr. Mergenthaler:
You’re welcome.




Operator:
Thank you. Next, we have Dan Salmon of BMO. Your line is open.

Daniel Salmon, BMO Capital Markets:
Hi, good morning, everyone. Michael, could I return to part of your prepared remarks where you spoke about the impact of new competition, particularly the IT services and consultants? And you noted that you continue to not see them in a material way in your new business activity. And then also followed it up to note that you won some new digital business head-to-head against a group of them. So could you just clarify that a little bit more? Is it a matter of not seeing them in core creative and media assignments, and that you are seeing them in emerging digital services? And then I’ve got a follow-up on that.

Michael Roth, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer:
Look, the most logical place for them to grow is as an add-on to what is already there. They’re basically systems consolidators out there. And while they’re there, they bought digital experts - what they think are digital experts - to help them. And, frankly, sometimes they throw them in for nothing, because they want to make sure that they continue the relationship. So the digital part of it is where they have the best argument that they can add some CRM expertise. And that’s more where we see them.

On the creative side, they’ve made attempts to buy some creative agencies. Candidly, I think one of my competitors commented upon some of the agencies that they’ve bought. And I agree. I mean, the firepower that we have on the creative side of the business, and how it’s embedded in what we do, is going to be very difficult to unseat by these particular companies.

That said, that’s what we bring to the table when we compete with them. And we don’t see a lot of them, but if we’re going to see them, we see them more on the digital side than anywhere else. And we saw it in the case that I talked about. And given the firepower that Huge brings to the table, both on the digital side, creative side, as well as other areas of insights that we bring, we’re pretty comfortable in our ability to compete. R/GA, I might add, has also come up against them. And frankly - I think I mentioned this on the last call - there was one piece of business that we lost to one of them, and six months later, we got the business back, because they couldn’t deliver. So, yes, they are out there. They’re trying, and I understand it.

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