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UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
Form 10-K
 
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019
or
 
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
Commission file number: 1-6686
https://cdn.kscope.io/805821027989d36265934e0301ea9a60-ipglogo61617a18.jpg
THE INTERPUBLIC GROUP OF COMPANIES, INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Delaware
 
13-1024020
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
 
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)
909 Third Avenue, New York, New York 10022
(Address of principal executive offices) (Zip Code)
(212)704-1200
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each class
Trading Symbol(s)
Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Stock, par value $0.10 per share
IPG
The New York Stock Exchange
Securities Registered Pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes ý    No ¨
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes ¨    No ý
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes ý    No ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes ý    No ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See definition of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and "emerging growth company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer
 
 
Accelerated filer
 
¨
Non-accelerated filer
 
¨
 
Smaller reporting company
 
 
 
Emerging growth company
 
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes     No ý
As of June 28, 2019, the aggregate market value of the shares of the registrant’s common stock held by non-affiliates was approximately $8.7 billion. The number of shares of the registrant’s common stock outstanding as of February 13, 2020 was 387,824,443.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
The following sections of the Proxy Statement for the Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be held on May 21, 2020 are incorporated by reference in Part III: “Election of Directors,” “Director Selection Process,” “Code of Conduct,” “Committees of the Board of Directors,” “Audit



Committee,” “Section 16(a) Beneficial Ownership Reporting Compliance,” “Executive Compensation,” “Non-Management Director Compensation,” “Compensation Discussion and Analysis,” “Compensation and Leadership Talent Committee Report,” “Outstanding Shares and Ownership of Common Stock,” “Securities Authorized for Issuance under Equity Compensation Plans,” “Transactions with Related Persons,” “Director Independence” and “Appointment of Registered Public Accounting Firm.”



TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
Page
Item 1.
Item 1A.
Item 1B.
Item 2.
Item 3.
Item 4.
 
 
 
Item 5.
Item 6.
Item 7.
Item 7A.
Item 8.
Item 9.
Item 9A.
Item 9B.
 
 
 
Item 10.
Item 11.
Item 12.
Item 13.
Item 14.
 
 
 
Item 15.
Item 16.




STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING DISCLOSURE

This annual report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements. Statements in this report that are not historical facts, including statements about management’s beliefs and expectations, constitute forward-looking statements. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, words such as “may,” “will,” “expect,” “believe,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “could,” “would,” “estimate,” “continue” or comparable terminology are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements are based on current plans, estimates and projections, and are subject to change based on a number of factors, including those outlined under Item 1A, Risk Factors, in this report. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made and we undertake no obligation to update publicly any of them in light of new information or future events.
Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties. A number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement. Such factors include, but are not limited to, the following:
potential effects of a challenging economy, for example, on the demand for our advertising and marketing services, on our clients’ financial condition and on our business or financial condition;
our ability to attract new clients and retain existing clients;
our ability to retain and attract key employees;
risks associated with assumptions we make in connection with our critical accounting estimates, including changes in assumptions associated with any effects of a weakened economy;
potential adverse effects if we are required to recognize impairment charges or other adverse accounting-related developments;
risks associated with the effects of global, national and regional economic and political conditions, including counterparty risks and fluctuations in economic growth rates, interest rates and currency exchange rates;
developments from changes in the regulatory and legal environment for advertising and marketing and communications services companies around the world; and
failure to realize the anticipated benefits of the acquisition of the Acxiom business.
Investors should carefully consider these factors and the additional risk factors outlined in more detail under Item 1A, Risk Factors, in this report.


1



PART I

Item 1.
Business
The Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc. ("Interpublic," the "Company," "IPG," "we," "us" or "our") was incorporated in Delaware in September 1930 under the name of McCann-Erickson Incorporated as the successor to the advertising agency businesses founded in 1902 by A.W. Erickson and in 1911 by Harrison K. McCann. The Company has operated under the Interpublic name since January 1961.

About Us
We are one of the world’s premier global advertising and marketing services companies. With approximately 54,300 employees and operations in all major world markets, our companies specialize in consumer advertising, digital marketing, communications planning and media buying, public relations, specialized communications disciplines and data management. Our agencies create customized marketing solutions for clients that range in scale from large global marketers to regional and local clients. Comprehensive global services are critical to effectively serve our multinational and local clients in markets throughout the world as they seek to build brands, increase sales of their products and services, and gain market share.
The work we produce for our clients is specific to their unique needs. Our solutions vary from project-based activity involving one agency to long-term, fully integrated campaigns created by multiple IPG agencies working together. With offices in over 100 countries, we can operate in a single region or deliver global integrated programs.
The role of our holding company is to provide resources and support to ensure that our agencies can best meet clients’ needs and to selectively facilitate collaborative client service among our agencies. Based in New York City, our holding company sets company-wide financial objectives and corporate strategy, establishes financial management and operational controls, guides personnel policy, directs collaborative inter-agency programs, conducts investor relations, manages environmental, social and governance (ESG) programs, provides enterprise risk management and oversees mergers and acquisitions. In addition, we provide certain centralized functional services that offer our companies operational efficiencies, including accounting and finance, executive compensation management and recruitment assistance, employee benefits, marketing information retrieval and analysis, internal audit, legal services, real estate expertise and travel services.
IPG ranked as one of the best-managed companies of 2019, according to The Management Top 250 ranking, and was the only company from the advertising industry included in the list. Developed by the Drucker Institute and The Wall Street Journal, the ranking measures corporate effectiveness by examining performance in customer satisfaction, employee engagement and development, innovation, social responsibility and financial strength. Additionally, IPG was named a top company to work for by LinkedIn and was the highest-ranked company in the advertising sector on the list of the 50 most sought-after companies where Americans want to work and develop their careers.

Our Brands
Interpublic is home to some of the world’s best-known and most innovative communications specialists. We have three global networks: McCann Worldgroup, Foote, Cone & Belding ("FCB") and MullenLowe Group, which provide integrated, large-scale advertising and marketing solutions for clients. Our Media, Data and Technology offerings are comprised of Mediabrands' global media services, Acxiom's data and technology capabilities, and Kinesso's data-driven marketing solutions. We also have a range of best-in-class global specialized communications assets as well as premier domestic integrated and global digital agencies that are industry leaders.
Media, Data and Technology offerings provide strategic media planning and buying services as well as data management and leading marketing technology services. Our media services agencies manage tens of billions of dollars in marketing investment on behalf of their clients, providing strategic counsel and advisory services to navigate the fast-evolving consumer and media landscape. Full-service global media agencies within the Mediabrands network include UM and Initiative. Additional leading brands and specialist business units include Healix, IPG Media Lab, MAGNA, Orion Holdings, Rapport and Reprise. Media solutions are developed and executed through integrated, data-driven marketing strategies. Acxiom, which IPG acquired in 2018, provides the data foundation for many of the world’s largest and most sophisticated marketers. Acxiom's solutions help clients organize, cleanse and store data in a responsible and ethical manner, and enhances our ability to provide data-driven marketing insights to our clients. Kinesso, the marketing technology company IPG launched in October of 2019, provides the tools and services required to help marketers make traditional and addressable media activation faster, better and more effective through the use of data.
McCann Worldgroup is a leading global marketing solutions network united across 100+ countries by a single vision: to help brands play a meaningful role in people's lives. McCann was recognized by Cannes Lions as the 2019 Network of

2


the Year and by the Effies as the world's most creatively-effective marketing services company in 2019. The network is comprised of McCann (advertising), MRM (science/technology/relationship marketing), Momentum Worldwide (total brand experience), McCann Health (professional/dtc communications), and CRAFT (production). McCann is aligned with our marketing services agencies including Weber Shandwick (public relations) and FutureBrand (consulting/design).
FCB is a global marketing communications company, named to the Ad Age Agency A-List in 2019. Based on an understanding of diversified markets and cultures, FCB focuses on creating “Never Finished” ideas for clients that reflect each brand’s past and anticipate its future. FCB also offers a range of best-in-class, integrated and specialist marketing capabilities: FCB Health, one of the world’s most awarded healthcare marketing networks; shopper-first agency FCB/RED; design agency Chute Gerdeman; experiential agency FCBX; production studios Lord + Thomas and FuelContent; CRM agency FCB/SIX; and digital agency New Honor Society.
MullenLowe Group is a creatively driven integrated marketing communications network with a strong entrepreneurial heritage and challenger mentality. A global creative boutique of distinctive diverse agencies, MullenLowe Group is networked in more than 65 markets. Within the Group's distinctive hyperbundled-operating model, global specializations include expertise in brand strategy, and through-the-line advertising with MullenLowe; digital transformation with MullenLowe Profero; media and communications planning and buying with Mediahub; customer experience activation with MullenLowe Open; and consumer and corporate PR with MullenLowe PR and MullenLowe salt. The group is focused on delivering an “Unfair Share of Attention” for clients and is consistently ranked among the most awarded creative and effective agency networks in the world. Mediahub was named Ad Age Media Agency of the Year in 2019.
Our CMG group has exceptional global marketing specialists across a range of disciplines, including industry-leading public relations agencies such as Weber Shandwick, Golin, DeVries Global, Axis, and Current Global have expertise in every significant area of communication management. Jack Morton is a global brand experience agency, and FutureBrand is a leading brand consultancy. Octagon is a global sports, entertainment and lifestyle marketing agency.
Our domestic integrated independent and digital specialist agencies include some of advertising's most recognizable and storied agency brands, including Carmichael Lynch, Deutsch, Hill Holliday, Huge, R/GA and The Martin Agency. The marketing programs created by these agencies incorporate all media channels, CRM, public relations and other digital marketing activities and have helped build some of the most powerful brands in the U.S., across all sectors and industries.
We list approximately 100 of our companies on our website under the "Our Companies" section, with descriptions, capabilities and office locations for each. To learn more about our broad range of capabilities, visit our website at www.interpublic.com. Information on our website is not part of this report.

Market Strategy
We operate in a media landscape that continues to evolve at a rapid pace. Media channels continue to fragment, and clients face an increasingly complex consumer environment. To stay ahead of these challenges and to achieve our objectives, we have made and continue to make investments in creative, strategic and technology talent in areas including fast-growth digital marketing channels, high-growth geographic regions and strategic world markets. In addition, we consistently review opportunities within our Company to enhance our operations through acquisitions and strategic alliances and internal programs that encourage intra-company collaboration. As appropriate, we also develop relationships with technology and emerging media companies that are building leading-edge marketing tools that complement our agencies' skill sets and capabilities.
In recent years, we have taken several major strategic steps to position our agencies as leaders in the global advertising and communications market. These include:
Investment in leading talent: We believe our continued ability to attract and develop top talent and to be the industry’s employer of choice for an increasingly diverse workforce have been key differentiators for IPG. We continue to acquire and develop top strategic, creative and digital talent from a range of backgrounds.
Growing digital capabilities: Our investments in talent and technology - organically growing digital capabilities such as search, social, user experience (UX), content creation, analytics, and mobile across the portfolio - promise to drive further growth in this dynamic sector of our business. We continue to internationalize our powerful digital specialist agencies.
Data-fueled offerings: Media and marketing is increasingly centered around the ability to manage data to create deeper direct customer relationships. Acxiom provides the tools to help our clients connect with individual consumers at scale. Kinesso furthers this vision by bringing together top data and technology talent with addressable media experts to develop software that amplifies clients' marketing and leverages Acxiom’s assets and capabilities.
Investments in emerging and strategic markets: We strengthen our position in global markets by driving organic growth as well as completing strategic acquisitions in Asia, the U.K., Europe, Latin America, and North America.

3


Integrated marketing solutions: A differentiating aspect of our business is our utilization of “open architecture” solutions that integrate the best talent from throughout the organization to fulfill the needs of our clients.
Together, these steps have built a culture of strategic creativity and high performance across IPG, resulting in IPG posting strong organic growth, as well as increased honors and awards for our Company.
For the third year in a row, IPG was recognized as the Holding Company of the Year at the North American Effie Awards; McCann Worldgroup was named Most Effective Agency Office of the Year and its "22 Years of Priceless" work for Mastercard was awarded a "5 for 50" award, marking Effie's 50th Anniversary. At the 2019 Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, IPG agencies dominated at the festival and took home 11 of the Festival's highest honor, the Grand Prix. IPG agencies won over a third of all Grand Prix awarded in 2019, and more than all other global holding companies combined. McCann Worldgroup won five Grand Prix in Brand Experience & Activation, Industry Craft, Pharma and Health & Wellness categories as the Festival named McCann Worldgroup as Network of the Year, McCann Health the Healthcare Network of the Year, and McCann Health China the Healthcare Agency of the Year. FCB took home five Grand Prix in the Direct, Creative Data, Innovation, Titanium, and Mobile categories. UM received its first-ever Grand Prix in the Entertainment category. In total, IPG agencies won 163 Cannes Lions, including 11 Grand Prix, one Titanium, 38 Gold Lions, 44 Silver Lions, and 69 Bronze Lions.
Our specialty marketing firms received top honors at the 2019 PRWeek Global Awards. Weber Shandwick was the most awarded agency, winning a total of six awards, including four in partnership with clients: Best Campaign in Asia-Pacific, Corporate and Social Responsibility, Global Citizenship and Issues and Crisis. Golin was named “Agency of the Year” and DeVries Global, dna Communications and McCann were also among awards recipients. The PRWeek Global Awards celebrate the best campaigns, people and organizations involved in cross-region communications.
In the U.S. market, IPG once again led the industry in Ad Age’s annual "A-List," a ranking of the industry's ten most innovative and creative agencies. FCB and McCann ranked among the industry's best-performing agencies and Mediahub was named the "Media Agency of the Year." Additionally, FCB/Six was named the "Data/Analytics Agency of the Year" and Initiative as the "Comeback Agency of the Year." IPG agencies EP+Co., The Martin Agency, MullenLowe and UM were also identified as "Agency Standouts" and R/GA as "Agencies To Watch" in the awards issue. Ad Age selects agencies based on account wins, quality of work and business results delivered on behalf of their clients.

Digital Growth
Demand for our digital marketing services continues to evolve rapidly. In order to meet this need and provide high-value resources to clients, we have focused on embedding digital talent and technology throughout the organization. This reflects our belief that digital marketing should be integrated within all of our companies. This structure mirrors the way in which consumers incorporate digital media into their other media habits and, ultimately, their daily lives. We continue to invest in recruiting and developing digital expertise at all our agencies and in all marketing disciplines.
To meet the changing needs of the marketplace, we have been active in making new acquisitions and minority investments in specialty digital assets. In addition, we have consistently invested in existing assets such as the IPG Media Lab, Huge, MRM and R/GA, which serve as key digital partners to many of the agencies within IPG.
Emerging Economies and Strategic Regions
We continue to invest and expand our presence in emerging and strategic geographic regions. In recent years, we have made significant investments in Brazil, India and China, further strengthening our position in these important developing markets. Our operations in India are best-in-class, and we will continue to invest in partnerships and talent in this key market. We also hold a majority stake in the Middle East Communication Networks (“MCN”), among the region's premier marketing services companies. MCN is headquartered in Dubai, with offices across 12 countries. In China, where we operate with most of our global networks and across the full spectrum of marketing services, we continue to invest organically in the talent of our agency brands and opportunistically acquire specialty offerings. Additional areas of investment include key strategic markets in North America, the U.K., Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America and Africa.
Diversity and Inclusion
IPG and our agencies are committed to diversity and inclusion, and we reinforce these values through a comprehensive set of award-winning programs. These include business resource groups that develop career building programs, as well as training around topics like unconscious bias. We seek to ensure accountability by tying executive compensation directly to the ability of our leaders to hire, promote and retain diverse talent, and we regularly measure the inclusiveness of our culture with a company-wide climate for inclusion survey.
We began our formal programs over a decade ago. Since then, IPG has seen dramatic improvements in the diversity of our workforce, and further progress is a management priority. In the U.S., IPG exceeded the ad industry’s representation rates for

4


women and minorities for both professional-level and management positions in the most recent filings. We believe that an environment that encourages respect and trust is key to a creative business like ours, and that a competitive advantage comes with having a variety of perspectives and beliefs in our workforce.
Acquisition Strategy
A disciplined acquisition strategy, focused on high-growth capabilities and regions of the world, is one component of growing our services in today's rapidly-changing marketing services and media landscape. When an outstanding resource or a strong tactical fit becomes available, we have been opportunistic over the years in making tuck-in, niche acquisitions that enhance our service offerings.
In recent years, IPG has acquired agencies across the marketing spectrum, including firms specializing in digital, mobile marketing, social media, healthcare communications and public relations, as well as agencies with full-service capabilities. These acquired agencies have been integrated into one of our global networks or specialist agencies. In 2019, we completed one acquisition, a content communications agency based in the United Kingdom. In 2018, we pursued and completed the transformative acquisition of Acxiom. By adding Acxiom to our offering, we have positioned our company for a future in which data-driven marketing solutions are increasingly core to brands' success. With Acxiom, we go to market as a trusted, high-value partner that will deliver on the promise of combining data management and marketing services to drive personalized marketing solutions at scale and measurable business outcomes for our clients.

Financial Objectives
Our financial goals include competitive organic net revenue growth and expansion of EBITA margin, as defined and discussed within the Non-GAAP Financial Measure section of this MD&A, which we expect will further strengthen our balance sheet and total liquidity and increase value to our shareholders. Accordingly, we remain focused on meeting the evolving needs of our clients while concurrently managing our cost structure. We continually seek greater efficiency in the delivery of our services, focusing on more effective resource utilization, including the productivity of our employees, real estate, information technology and shared services, such as finance, human resources and legal. The improvements we have made and continue to make in our financial reporting and business information systems in recent years allow us more timely and actionable insights from our global operations. Our disciplined approach to our balance sheet and liquidity provides us with a solid financial foundation and financial flexibility to manage and grow our business. We believe that our strategy and execution position us to meet our financial goals and to deliver long-term shareholder value.

Financial Reporting Segments
We have two reportable segments, which are Integrated Agency Networks (“IAN”) and Constituency Management Group (“CMG”). IAN is comprised of McCann Worldgroup, FCB, MullenLowe Group, Media, Data and Technology which includes Mediabrands and Acxiom, our digital specialist agencies and our domestic integrated agencies. CMG is comprised of a number of our specialist marketing services offerings. We also report results for the “Corporate and other” group. See Note 15 in Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, for further information.

Sources of Revenue
Our revenues are primarily derived from the planning and execution of multi-channel advertising, marketing and communications programs around the world. Our revenues are directly dependent upon the advertising, marketing and corporate communications requirements of our existing clients and our ability to win new clients. Most of our client contracts are individually negotiated, and, accordingly, the terms of client engagements and the bases on which we earn commissions and fees vary significantly. As is customary in the industry, our contracts generally provide for termination by either party on relatively short notice, usually 30 to 90 days, although our data management contracts typically have non-cancelable terms of more than one year.
Revenues for the creation and production of advertising or the planning and placement of media are determined primarily on a negotiated fee basis and, to a lesser extent, on a commission basis. Fees are usually calculated to reflect hourly rates plus proportional overhead and a mark-up. Many clients include an incentive compensation component in their total compensation package. This provides added revenue based on achieving mutually agreed-upon qualitative or quantitative metrics within specified time periods. Commissions are earned based on services provided.
We also generate revenue from data and technology offerings and in negotiated fees from our public relations, sales promotion, event marketing, sports and entertainment marketing, and corporate and brand identity services.

5


In most of our businesses, our agencies enter into commitments to pay production and media costs on behalf of clients, as is customary in the advertising and marketing industries. To the extent possible, we pay production and media charges after we have received funds from our clients, and in some instances we agree with the provider that we will only be liable to pay the production and media costs after the client has paid us for the charges. Generally, we act as the client’s agent rather than the primary obligor in these arrangements.
Our revenue is typically lowest in the first quarter and highest in the fourth quarter.
 
Consolidated Total Revenues for the Three Months Ended
 
2019
 
2018
 
2017
(Amounts in Millions)
 
 
% of Total
 
 
 
% of Total
 
 
 
% of Total
March 31
$
2,361.2

 
23.0%
 
$
2,169.1

 
22.3%
 
$
2,063.8

 
22.8%
June 30
2,520.2

 
24.7%
 
2,391.8

 
24.6%
 
2,185.8

 
24.2%
September 30
2,438.1

 
23.9%
 
2,297.5

 
23.7%
 
2,208.2

 
24.4%
December 31
2,901.8

 
28.4%
 
2,856.0

 
29.4%
 
2,589.8

 
28.6%
 
$
10,221.3

 
 
 
$
9,714.4

 
 
 
$
9,047.6

 
 

Clients
Our large and diverse client base includes many of the most recognizable companies and brands throughout the world. Our holding company structure allows us to maintain a diversified client base across and within a full range of industry sectors. In the aggregate, our top ten clients based on net revenue accounted for approximately 17% of net revenue in 2019 and 18% in 2018. Our largest client accounted for approximately 3% of net revenue in 2019 and 4% of net revenue in 2018. Based on net revenue for the year ended December 31, 2019, our largest client sectors (in alphabetical order) were auto and transportation, healthcare and technology and telecom. We represent several different clients, brands or divisions within each of these sectors in a number of geographic markets, as well as provide services across multiple advertising and marketing disciplines, in each case through more than one of our agency brands. Representation of a client rarely means that we handle advertising for all brands or product lines of the client in all geographical locations. Any client may transfer its business from one of our agencies to another one of our agencies or to a competing agency, and a client may change its marketing budget at any time.
We operate in a highly competitive advertising and marketing communications industry. Our operating companies compete against other large multinational advertising and marketing communications companies as well as numerous independent and niche agencies and new forms of market participants to win new clients and maintain existing client relationships.

Regulatory Environment
The advertising and marketing services that our agencies provide are subject to governmental regulation and other action in all of the jurisdictions in which the Company operates. While these governmental regulations and other actions can impact the Company’s operations, the specific marketing regulations we may face in a given market do not as a general matter significantly impact the Company’s overall service offerings or the nature in which we provide these services.
Governments, government agencies and industry self-regulatory bodies have adopted laws, regulations and standards, and judicial bodies have issued rulings, that directly or indirectly affect the form and content of advertising, public relations and other marketing activities we produce or conduct on behalf of our clients. These laws, regulations and other actions include content-related rules with respect to specific products and services, restrictions on media scheduling and placement, and labeling or warning requirements with respect to certain products, for example pharmaceuticals, alcoholic beverages, cigarettes and other tobacco products, and food and nutritional supplements. We are also subject to rules related to marketing directed to certain groups, such as children.
Digital marketing services are a dynamic and growing sector of our business. Our service offerings in this area are covered by laws and regulations concerning user privacy, use of personal information, data protection and online tracking technologies. We are also subject to laws and regulations that govern whether and how we can transfer, process or receive certain data that we use in our operations, including data shared between countries or regions in which we operate. While we maintain policies and operational procedures to promote effective privacy protection and data management, existing and proposed laws and regulations in this area, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) in the European Union, the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) that recently went into effect and other different forms of privacy legislation under consideration across the markets in which we operate, can impact the development, efficacy and profitability of internet-based and other digital marketing. Limitations on the scheduling, content or delivery of direct marketing activities can likewise impact the activities of our agencies offering those services.


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With agencies and clients located in over 100 countries worldwide, we are also subject to laws governing our international operations. These include broad anti-corruption laws such as the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act ("FCPA") and the U.K. Bribery Act (2010), which generally prohibit the making or offering of improper payments to government officials and political figures. Export controls and economic sanctions regimes, such as those maintained by the U.S. government and comparable ones by the U.K., the member states of the European Union and the U.N., impose limitations on the Company’s ability to operate in certain geographic regions or to seek or service certain potential clients. Likewise, our Treasury operations must comply with exchange controls, restrictions on currency repatriation and the control requirements of applicable anti-money-laundering statutes.

Personnel
As of December 31, 2019, we employed approximately 54,300 people, of whom approximately 22,400 were employed in the United States. Because of the service character of the advertising and marketing communications business, the quality of personnel is of crucial importance to our continuing success. We conduct extensive employee training and development throughout our agencies and benchmark our compensation programs against those of our industry for their competitiveness and effectiveness in recruitment and retention. There is keen competition for qualified employees.

Available Information
Our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and any amendments to these reports are available, free of charge, on our website at www.interpublic.com under the "For Investors" section, as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such reports with, or furnish them to, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") at www.sec.gov. The public may also read and copy materials we file with the SEC at the SEC’s Public Reference Room, which is located at 100 F Street, NE, Room 1580, Washington, DC 20549. You can obtain information on the operation of the Public Reference Room by calling the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330.
Our Corporate Governance Guidelines, Interpublic Group Code of Conduct and the charters for each of the Audit Committee, Compensation and Leadership Talent Committee, and Corporate Governance Committee are available, free of charge, on our website at www.interpublic.com in the "Corporate Governance" subsection of the "About" section, or by writing to The Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc., 909 Third Avenue, New York, New York 10022, Attention: Secretary. Information on our website is not part of this report.


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Executive Officers of IPG
Name
 
Age
 
Office
Michael I. Roth 1
 
74
 
Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer
Andrew Bonzani
 
56
 
Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary
Christopher F. Carroll
 
53
 
Senior Vice President, Controller and Chief Accounting Officer
Julie M. Connors
 
48
 
Senior Vice President, Audit and Chief Risk Officer
Ellen Johnson
 
54
 
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Philippe Krakowsky
 
57
 
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
 
 
1
Also a Director
There is no family relationship among any of the executive officers.
Mr. Roth became our Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer in January 2005. Prior to that time, Mr. Roth served as our Chairman of the Board from July 2004 to January 2005. Mr. Roth served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The MONY Group Inc. from February 1994 to June 2004. Mr. Roth has been a member of the Board of Directors of IPG since February 2002. He is also non-executive chairman of the board of Pitney Bowes Inc. and a director of Ryman Hospitality Properties.
Mr. Bonzani was hired as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary in April 2012 and as of February 2019 was promoted to Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary. Prior to joining IPG, Mr. Bonzani worked at IBM for 18 years, holding a number of positions in the legal department, most recently as Vice President, Assistant General Counsel and Secretary from July 2008 to March 2012.
Mr. Carroll was named Senior Vice President, Controller and Chief Accounting Officer in April 2006. In 2017, Mr. Carroll assumed additional responsibilities as Chief Financial Officer for the Constituency Management Group (CMG). Mr. Carroll served as Senior Vice President and Controller of McCann Worldgroup from November 2005 to March 2006. Prior to joining us, Mr. Carroll served in various Chief Accounting Officer and Controller roles. Prior to that time, he served as a Financial Vice President at Lucent Technologies, Inc. and began his professional career at PricewaterhouseCoopers from October 1991 to September 2000.
Ms. Connors was hired in February 2010 as Senior Vice President, Audit and Chief Risk Officer. Prior to joining us, she served as a partner at Deloitte & Touche, LLP from September 2003 to January 2010.
Ms. Johnson was hired as Assistant Treasurer, International in February 2000. In May 2004, Ms. Johnson was appointed Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer of The Partnership, a division of Interpublic which included Lowe Worldwide and Draft. She was elected Senior Vice President and Treasurer in October 2004, in February 2013 was elected to Senior Vice President of Finance and Treasurer and as of January 1, 2020 was promoted to Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.
Mr. Krakowsky was hired in January 2002 as Senior Vice President, Director of Corporate Communications. He was elected to Executive Vice President, Strategy and Corporate Relations in December 2005, Executive Vice President, Chief Strategy and Talent Officer in February 2011 and in September 2019 was promoted to Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer. Prior to joining us, he served as Senior Vice President, Communications Director for Young & Rubicam from August 1996 to December 2000.


8



Item 1A.
Risk Factors
We are subject to a variety of possible risks that could adversely impact our revenues, results of operations or financial condition. Some of these risks relate to general economic and financial conditions, while others are more specific to us and the industry in which we operate. The following factors set out potential risks we have identified that could adversely affect us. The risks described below may not be the only risks we face. Additional risks that we do not yet know of, or that we currently think are immaterial, could also have a negative impact on our business operations or financial condition. See also Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Disclosure.

We operate in a highly competitive industry.
The advertising and marketing communications business is highly competitive and constantly changing. Our agencies and media services compete with other agencies and other providers of creative, marketing or media services to maintain existing client relationships and to win new business. Our competitors include not only other large multinational advertising and marketing communications companies, but also smaller entities that operate in local or regional markets as well as new forms of market participants.
Competitive challenges also arise from rapidly-evolving and new technologies in the marketing and advertising space, creating opportunities for new and existing competitors and a need for continued significant investment in tools, technologies and process improvements. As data-driven marketing solutions become increasingly core to the success of our brands, any failure to keep up with rapidly changing technologies and standards in this space could harm our competitive position.
The client’s perception of the quality of our agencies’ creative work, its confidence in our ability to protect the confidentiality of their and their customers’ data and its relationships with key personnel at the Company or our agencies are important factors that affect our competitive position. An agency’s ability to serve clients, particularly large international clients, on a broad geographic basis and across a range of services and technologies may also be an important competitive consideration. On the other hand, because an agency’s principal asset is its people and freedom of entry into the industry is almost unlimited, our relationships with clients can be affected by the departure of key personnel and a small agency is, on occasion, able to take all or some portion of a client’s account from a much larger competitor.

Clients may terminate or reduce their relationships with us on short notice.
Many companies put their advertising and marketing communications business up for competitive review from time to time, and we have won and lost client accounts in the past as a result of such periodic competitions. Our clients may choose to terminate their contracts, or reduce their relationships with us, on a relatively short time frame and for any reason. A relatively small number of clients contribute a significant portion of our revenue. In the aggregate, our top ten clients based on revenue accounted for approximately 17% of revenue in 2019. A substantial decline in a large client’s advertising and marketing spending, or the loss of a significant part of its business, could have a material adverse effect upon our business and results of operations.
Our ability to attract new clients and to retain existing clients may also, in some cases, be limited by clients’ policies or perceptions about conflicts of interest, or our own exclusivity arrangements with certain clients. These policies can, in some cases, prevent one agency, or even different agencies under our ownership, from performing similar services for competing products or companies.

Our results of operations are highly susceptible to unfavorable economic conditions.
We are exposed to risks associated with weak or uncertain regional or global economic conditions and disruption in the financial markets. The global economy continues to be challenging in some markets. Uncertainty about the continued strength of the global economy generally, or economic conditions in certain regions or market sectors, and a degree of caution on the part of some marketers, can have an effect on the demand for advertising and marketing communication services. In addition, market conditions can be adversely affected by natural and human disruptions, such as natural disasters, severe weather events, military conflict or public health crises. Our industry can be affected more severely than other sectors by an economic downturn and can recover more slowly than the economy in general. In the past, some clients have responded to weak economic and financial conditions by reducing their marketing budgets, which include discretionary components that are easier to reduce in the short term than other operating expenses. This pattern may recur in the future. Furthermore, unexpected revenue shortfalls can result in misalignments of costs and revenues, resulting in a negative impact to our operating margins. If our business is significantly adversely affected by unfavorable economic conditions or other market disruptions that adversely affect client spending, the negative impact on our revenue could pose a challenge to our operating income and cash generation from operations.

We may lose or fail to attract and retain key employees and management personnel.

9



Our employees, including creative, digital, research, media and account specialists, and their skills and relationships with clients, are among our most valuable assets. An important aspect of our competitiveness is our ability to identify and develop the appropriate talent and to attract and retain key employees and management personnel. Our ability to do so is influenced by a variety of factors, including the compensation we award and factors which may be beyond our control. Changes to U.S. or other immigration policies or travel restrictions imposed as a result of public health, political or security concerns, that restrain the flow of professional talent may inhibit our ability to staff our offices or projects. In addition, the advertising and marketing services industry is characterized by a high degree of employee mobility and significant use of third-party or temporary workers to staff new, growing or temporary assignments. If we were to fail to attract key personnel or lose them to competitors or clients, or fail to manage our workforce effectively, our business and results of operations could be adversely affected.

If our clients experience financial distress, or seek to change or delay payment terms, it could negatively affect our own financial position and results.
We have a large and diverse client base, and at any given time, one or more of our clients may experience financial difficulty, file for bankruptcy protection or go out of business. Unfavorable economic and financial conditions could result in an increase in client financial difficulties that affect us. The direct impact on us could include reduced revenues and write-offs of accounts receivable and expenditures billable to clients, and if these effects were severe, the indirect impact could include impairments of intangible assets, credit facility covenant violations and reduced liquidity.
Furthermore, in most of our businesses, our agencies enter into commitments to pay production and media costs on behalf of clients. The amounts involved substantially exceed our revenues and primarily affect the level of accounts receivable, expenditures billable to clients, accounts payable and accrued liabilities. To the extent possible, we pay production and media charges only after we have received funds from our clients. However, if clients are unable to pay for commitments that we have entered into on their behalf, or if clients seek to significantly delay or otherwise alter payment terms, there could be an adverse effect on our working capital, which would negatively impact our operating cash flow.

International business risks could adversely affect our operations.
We are a global business, with agencies located in over 100 countries, including every significant world market. Operations outside the United States represent a significant portion of our net revenues, approximately 38% in 2019. These operations are exposed to risks that include local legislation, currency variation, exchange control restrictions, local labor and employment laws that hinder workforce flexibility, large-scale local or regional public health crises, and other difficult social, political or economic conditions. We also must comply with applicable U.S., local and other international anti-corruption laws, including the FCPA and the U.K. Anti-Bribery Act (2010), which can be comprehensive, complex and stringent, in all jurisdictions where we operate, certain of which present heightened compliance challenges. Export controls and economic sanctions, such as those maintained by the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, can impose limitations on our ability to operate in certain geographic regions or to seek or service certain potential clients. These restrictions can place us at a competitive disadvantage with respect to those competitors who may not be subject to comparable restrictions. Failure to comply or to implement business practices that sufficiently prevent corruption or violation of sanctions laws could result in significant remediation expense and expose us to significant civil and criminal penalties and reputational harm.
Given our substantial operations in the United Kingdom and Continental Europe, we face continued uncertainty surrounding the implementation and consequences of the U.K.’s June 2016 referendum in which voters approved the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, commonly referred to as “Brexit.” Under the withdrawal agreement negotiated between the U.K. and the E.U., the U.K. as of January 31, 2020, is no longer a member of the European Union, and a transitional period will occur through December 31, 2020, during which the parties intend to negotiate the terms of their future economic and trade relationship. During and following this transitional period, it is possible that Brexit and changes resulting from Brexit will cause increased regulatory and legal complexities, large exchange rate fluctuations and negative economic impacts. These impacts and any increased restrictions on the free movement of labor, capital, goods and services between the United Kingdom and the remaining members of the European Union, could create uncertainty surrounding our business, including our relationships with existing and future clients, suppliers and employees, and have an adverse effect on our business, financial results and operations.
In developing countries or regions, we may face further risks, such as slower receipt of payments, nationalization, social and economic instability, currency repatriation restrictions and undeveloped or inconsistently enforced commercial laws. These risks may limit our ability to grow our business and effectively manage our operations in those countries.
In addition, because a significant portion of our business is denominated in currencies other than the U.S. Dollar, such as the Australian Dollar, Brazilian Real, British Pound Sterling, Canadian Dollar, Chinese Yuan Renminbi, Euro and Indian Rupee, fluctuations in exchange rates between the U.S. Dollar and such currencies, including the persistent strength of the U.S. Dollar in recent periods, may adversely affect our financial results.


10



We are subject to industry regulations and other legal or reputational risks that could restrict our activities or negatively impact our performance or financial condition.
Our industry is subject to government regulation and other governmental action, both domestic and foreign. Advertisers and consumer groups may challenge advertising through legislation, regulation, judicial actions or otherwise, for example on the grounds that the advertising is false and deceptive or injurious to public welfare. Our business is also subject to specific rules, prohibitions, media restrictions, labeling disclosures and warning requirements applicable to advertising for certain products. Existing and proposed laws and regulations, in particular in the European Union and the United States, concerning user privacy, use of personal information and on-line tracking technologies could affect the efficacy and profitability of internet-based, digital and targeted marketing. We are also subject to laws and regulations that govern whether and how we can transfer, process or receive certain data that we use in our operations. The costs of compliance with these laws may increase in the future as a result of the implementation of new laws or regulations, such as the GDPR and the CCPA, or changes in interpretations of current ones, such as the interpretation of existing consumer protection laws as imposing restrictions on the online collection, storage and use of personal data. The imposition of restrictions on certain technologies by private market participants in response to privacy concerns could also have a negative impact on our digital business. If we are unable to transfer data between countries and regions in which we operate, or if we are prohibited from sharing data among our products and services, it could affect the manner in which we provide our services or adversely affect our financial results. Any failure on our part to comply with these legal requirements, or their application in an unanticipated manner, could harm our business and result in penalties or significant legal liability. Legislators, agencies and other governmental units may also continue to initiate proposals to ban the advertising of specific products, such as alcohol, tobacco or marijuana products, and to impose taxes on or deny deductions for advertising, which, if successful, may hinder our ability to accomplish our clients’ goals and have an adverse effect on advertising expenditures and, consequently, on our revenues. Governmental action, including judicial rulings, on the relative responsibilities of clients and their marketing agencies for the content of their marketing can also impact our operations. Furthermore, we could suffer reputational risk as a result of governmental or legal action or from undertaking work that may be challenged by consumer groups or considered controversial.

We face risks associated with our acquisitions and other investments.
We regularly undertake acquisitions and other investments that we believe will enhance our service offerings to our clients, such as our acquisition of Acxiom in 2018. These transactions can involve significant challenges and risks, including that the transaction does not advance our business strategy or fails to produce a satisfactory return on our investment. While our evaluation of any potential acquisition includes business, legal and financial due diligence with the goal of identifying and evaluating the material risks involved, we may be unsuccessful in ascertaining or evaluating all such risks. Though we typically structure our acquisitions to provide for future contingent purchase payments that are based on the future performance of the acquired entity, our forecasts of the investment’s future performance also factor into the initial consideration. When actual financial results differ, our returns on the investment could be adversely affected.
We may also experience difficulty integrating new employees, businesses, assets or systems into our organization, including with respect to our internal policies and required controls. We may face reputational and legal risks in situations where we have a significant minority investment but limited control over the investment's operations. Furthermore, it may take longer than anticipated to realize the expected benefits from these transactions, or those benefits may ultimately be smaller than anticipated or may not be realized at all. Talent is among our most valuable assets, and we also may not realize the intended benefits of a transaction if we fail to retain targeted personnel. Acquisition and integration activity may also divert management’s attention and other corporate resources from other business needs. If we fail to realize the intended advantages of any given investment or acquisition, or if we do not identify or correctly measure the associated risks and liabilities, our results of operations and financial position could be adversely affected.


11



We rely extensively on information technology systems and could face cybersecurity risks.
We rely extensively and increasingly on information technologies and infrastructure to manage our business, including digital storage of marketing strategies and client information, develop new business opportunities and digital products, and process business transactions. The incidence of malicious technology-related events, such as cyberattacks, computer hacking, computer viruses, worms or other destructive or disruptive software, phishing attacks and other attempts to gain access to confidential or personal data, denial of service attacks or other malicious activities is on the rise worldwide and highlights the need for continual and effective cybersecurity awareness and education. Our business, which increasingly involves the collection, use and transmission of customer data, may make us and our agencies attractive targets for malicious third-party attempts to access this data. Power outages, equipment failure, natural disasters (including extreme weather), terrorist activities or human error may also affect our systems and result in disruption of our services or loss or improper disclosure of personal data, business information, including intellectual property, or other confidential information. We operate in many respects on a decentralized basis, with a large number of agencies and legal entities, and the resulting size, diversity and disparity of our technology systems and complications in implementing standardized technologies and procedures could increase our potential vulnerability to such breakdowns, malicious intrusions or attacks.
Likewise, data privacy breaches, as well as improper use of social media, by employees and others may pose a risk that sensitive data, such as personally identifiable information, strategic plans and trade secrets, could be exposed to third parties or to the general public. We operate worldwide, and the legal rules governing data transfers are often complex, conflicting, unclear or ever-changing. We also utilize third parties, including third-party “cloud” computing services, to store, transfer or process data, and system failures or network disruptions or breaches in the systems of such third parties could adversely affect our reputation or business.
Any such breaches or breakdowns could expose us to legal liability, be expensive to remedy, result in a loss of our or our clients’ or vendors’ proprietary information and damage our reputation. Efforts to develop, implement and maintain security measures are costly, may not be successful in preventing these events from occurring and require ongoing monitoring and updating as technologies and cyberattack techniques change frequently, or are not recognized until successful and efforts to overcome security measures become more sophisticated.

Our earnings would be adversely affected if we were required to recognize asset impairment charges or increase our deferred tax valuation allowances.
We evaluate all of our long-lived assets (including goodwill, other intangible assets and fixed assets), investments and deferred tax assets for possible impairment or realizability annually or whenever there is an indication that they are impaired or not realizable. If certain criteria are met, we are required to record an impairment charge or valuation allowance.
As of December 31, 2019, we have substantial amounts of long-lived assets, deferred tax assets and investments on our Consolidated Balance Sheet, including approximately $4.9 billion of goodwill. Future events, including our financial performance, market valuation of us or market multiples of comparable companies, loss of a significant client’s business or strategic decisions, could cause us to conclude that impairment indicators exist and that the asset values associated with long-lived assets, deferred tax assets and investments may have become impaired. Any significant impairment loss would have an adverse impact on our reported earnings in the period in which the charge is recognized. For further discussion of goodwill and other intangible assets, as well as our sensitivity analysis of our valuation of these assets, see Critical Accounting Estimates in Part II, Item 7, Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.

We may not be able to meet our performance targets and milestones.
From time to time, we communicate to the public certain targets and milestones for our financial and operating performance that are intended to provide metrics against which to evaluate our performance. They should not be understood as predictions or guidance about our expected performance. Our ability to meet any target or milestone is subject to inherent risks and uncertainties, and we caution investors against placing undue reliance on them. See Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Disclosure.

Our financial condition could be adversely affected if our available liquidity is insufficient.
Agency operating cash flows have a significant impact on our liquidity, and we maintain a commercial paper program, a committed corporate credit facility and uncommitted lines of credit to increase flexibility in support of our operating needs. If any of these sources were unavailable or insufficient, our liquidity and ability to adequately fund our operations could be adversely affected. Furthermore, if our business or financial needs lead us to seek new or additional sources of liquidity, including in the capital markets, there can be no guarantee that we would be able to access any new sources of liquidity on commercially reasonable terms or at all.
Under our commercial paper program, we are authorized to issue short-term debt up to an aggregate amount outstanding at any time of $1.5 billion, which we use for working capital and general corporate purposes. Borrowings under the commercial

12



paper program are supported by our $1.5 billion committed corporate credit facility (the “Credit Agreement”) . If credit under the Credit Agreement or our ability to access the commercial paper market were unavailable or insufficient, our liquidity could be adversely affected.
The Credit Agreement contains a leverage ratio and other, non-financial, covenants, and events like a material economic downturn could adversely affect our ability to comply with them. For example, compliance with the financial covenant would be more difficult to achieve if we were to experience increased indebtedness or substantially lower revenues, including as a result of economic downturns, client losses or a substantial increase in client defaults. If we were unable to comply with any of the covenants contained in the Credit Agreement, we could be required to seek an amendment or waiver from our lenders, and our costs under these agreements could increase. If we were unable to obtain a necessary amendment or waiver, the Credit Agreement could be terminated, any outstanding amounts could be subject to acceleration, and we could lose access to certain uncommitted financing arrangements and commercial paper.
For further discussion of our liquidity profile and outlook, see Liquidity and Capital Resources in Part II, Item 7, Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.
In connection with the Acxiom acquisition, we incurred a substantial amount of additional debt.
On October 1, 2018, we completed the acquisition of Acxiom for approximately $2.3 billion, including customary closing adjustments. The indebtedness we incurred to fund the Acxiom acquisition significantly increased our outstanding debt levels and will require us to dedicate a substantial portion of our cash flow to servicing this debt. As of December 31, 2019, $1.0 billion of this indebtedness matures within two years. If we are unable to generate sufficient funds to meet our obligations under our credit facilities or the debt securities we issued in connection with the acquisition, we may be required to refinance, restructure or otherwise amend some or all of our obligations, sell assets or raise additional cash through the sale of our common stock or convertible securities, and there could be a negative impact on our credit ratings. We cannot assure you that we would be able to obtain refinancing on terms as favorable as our current financing or that any restructuring, sales of assets or issuances of equity can be accomplished or, if accomplished, would raise sufficient funds to meet our obligations. If we were to raise additional funds through the issuance of equity or convertible securities, that issuance could also result in substantial dilution to existing stockholders.

Downgrades of our credit ratings could adversely affect us.
Because ratings are an important factor influencing our ability to access capital and the terms of any new indebtedness, including covenants and interest rates, we could be adversely affected if our credit ratings were downgraded or if they were significantly weaker than those of our competitors. Our access to the commercial paper market is contingent on our maintenance of sufficient short-term debt ratings, and any downgrades to those ratings could increase our borrowing costs and reduce the market capacity for, or our ability to issue, commercial paper. Our clients and vendors may also consider our credit profile when negotiating contract terms, and if they were to change the terms on which they deal with us, it could have an adverse effect on our liquidity.

The costs of compliance with sustainability or other social responsibility laws, regulations or policies, including client-driven policies and standards, could adversely affect our business.
As a non–location–specific, non–manufacturing service business we have to date been sheltered from or able to mitigate many direct impacts from climate change and related laws and regulations. We are, however, increasingly impacted by the effects of climate change and laws and regulations related to other sustainability concerns, and, we could incur related costs indirectly through our clients. Increasingly our clients request that we comply with their own social responsibility, sustainability or other business policies or standards, which may be more restrictive than current laws and regulations, before they commence, or continue, doing business with us, and sustainability and governance issues are increasingly a focus of the investor community. Our compliance with these policies and related certification requirements could be costly, and our failure to comply could adversely affect our business relationships or reputation. If large shareholders were to reduce their ownership stakes in our Company as a result of dissatisfaction with our policies or efforts in this area, there could be negative impact on our stock price, and we could also suffer reputational harm. Further, if clients’ costs are adversely affected by climate change or related laws and regulations, this could negatively impact their spending on our advertising and marketing services. We could also face increased prices from our own suppliers that face climate change-related costs and seek to pass on their increased costs to their customers.


13



Item 1B.
Unresolved Staff Comments
None.

Item 2.
Properties
Substantially all of our office space is leased from third parties. Certain leases are subject to rent reviews or contain escalation clauses, and certain of our leases require the payment of various operating expenses, which may also be subject to escalation. Physical properties include leasehold improvements, furniture, fixtures and equipment located in our offices. We believe that facilities leased or owned by us are adequate for the purposes for which they are currently used and are well maintained. See Note 3 in Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data for further information on our lease commitments.

Item 3.
Legal Proceedings
We are involved in various legal proceedings, and subject to investigations, inspections, audits, inquiries and similar actions by governmental authorities, arising in the normal course of our business. The types of allegations that arise in connection with such legal proceedings vary in nature, but can include claims related to contract, employment, tax and intellectual property matters. While any outcome related to litigation or such governmental proceedings in which we are involved cannot be predicted with certainty, we believe that the outcome of these matters, individually and in the aggregate, will not have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations or cash flows. See Note 16 in Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data for further information relating to our legal matters.

Item 4.
Mine Safety Disclosures
Not applicable.


14



PART II

Item 5.
Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Market Information
Our common stock is listed and traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “IPG”. As of February 13, 2020, there were approximately 9,000 registered holders of our outstanding common stock.
On February 12, 2020, we announced that our Board of Directors (the "Board") had declared a common stock cash dividend of $0.255 per share, payable on March 16, 2020 to holders of record as of the close of business on March 2, 2020. Although it is the Board's current intention to declare and pay future dividends, there can be no assurance that such additional dividends will in fact be declared and paid. Any and the amount of any such declaration is at the discretion of the Board and will depend upon factors such as our earnings, financial position and cash requirements.

Equity Compensation Plans
See Item 12 for information about our equity compensation plans.
Transfer Agent and Registrar for Common Stock
The transfer agent and registrar for our common stock is:
Computershare Shareowner Services LLC
480 Washington Boulevard
29th Floor
Jersey City, New Jersey 07310
Telephone: (877) 363-6398

Sales of Unregistered Securities
Not applicable.

Repurchases of Equity Securities
The following table provides information regarding our purchases of our equity securities during the period from October 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019.
 
Total Number of
Shares (or Units)
Purchased
 
Average Price Paid
per Share (or Unit)
 
Total Number of
Shares (or Units)
Purchased as Part of
Publicly Announced
Plans or Programs
 
Maximum Number (or
Approximate Dollar Value)
of Shares (or Units)
that May Yet Be Purchased
Under the Plans or
Programs 1
October 1 - 31

 
$

 

 
$
338,421,933

November 1 - 30

 
$

 

 
$
338,421,933

December 1 - 31

 
$

 

 
$
338,421,933

Total

 
$

 

 
 
 
1
In February 2017, the Board authorized a share repurchase program to repurchase from time to time up to $300.0 million, excluding fees, of our common stock (the "2017 Share Repurchase Program"). In February 2018, the Board authorized a share repurchase program to repurchase from time to time up to $300.0 million, excluding fees, of our common stock, which was in addition to any amounts remaining under the 2017 Share Repurchase Program. On July 2, 2018, in connection with the announcement of the Acxiom acquisition, we announced that share repurchases will be suspended for a period of time in order to reduce the increased debt levels incurred in conjunction with the acquisition, and no shares were repurchased pursuant to the share repurchase programs in the periods reflected. There are no expiration dates associated with the share repurchase programs.

15



Item 6.
Selected Financial Data
THE INTERPUBLIC GROUP OF COMPANIES, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
Selected Financial Data
(Amounts in Millions, Except Per Share Amounts and Ratios)
 
Years ended December 31,
Statement of Operations Data
2019
 
2018 1
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
Revenue:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net revenue
$
8,625.1

 
$
8,031.6

 
$
7,473.5

 
$
7,452.3

 
N/A

Billable expenses
1,596.2

 
1,682.8

 
1,574.1

 
1,603.9

 
N/A

Total Revenue
10,221.3

 
9,714.4

 
9,047.6

 
9,056.2

 
$
7,613.8

Operating Expenses:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Salaries and related expenses
5,568.8

 
5,298.3

 
4,990.7

 
4,942.2

 
4,765.8

Office and other direct expenses 2
1,564.1

 
1,355.1

 
1,269.2

 
1,274.6

 
1,683.3

Billable expenses
1,596.2

 
1,682.8

 
1,574.1

 
1,603.9

 
N/A

Cost of services 2
8,729.1

 
8,336.2

 
7,834.0

 
7,820.7

 
6,449.1

Selling, general and administrative expenses 3
93.8

 
166.5

 
118.5

 
138.6

 
133.8

Depreciation and amortization 4
278.5

 
202.9

 
157.1

 
160.2

 
156.9

     Restructuring charges 5
33.9

 
0.0

 
(0.4
)
 
0.3

 
(0.8
)
Total operating expenses
9,135.3

 
8,705.6

 
8,109.2

 
8,119.8

 
6,739.0

Operating income
1,086.0

 
1,008.8

 
938.4

 
936.4

 
874.8

Provision for income taxes 6
204.8

 
199.2

 
271.3

 
196.9

 
282.8

Net income 7
673.9

 
637.7

 
570.4

 
629.0

 
480.5

Net income available to IPG common stockholders 7
656.0

 
618.9

 
554.4

 
605.0

 
454.6

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Earnings per share available to IPG common stockholders:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Basic 8
$
1.70

 
$
1.61

 
$
1.42

 
$
1.52

 
$
1.11

Diluted 8
$
1.68

 
$
1.59

 
$
1.40

 
$
1.48

 
$
1.09

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Weighted-average number of common shares outstanding:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Basic
386.1

 
383.3

 
389.6

 
397.9

 
408.1

Diluted
391.2

 
389.0

 
397.3

 
408.0

 
415.7

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dividends declared per common share
$
0.94

 
$
0.84

 
$
0.72

 
$
0.60

 
$
0.48

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Financial Data
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net cash provided by operating activities
$
1,529.2

 
$
565.1

 
$
881.8

 
$
512.8

 
$
688.5

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
As of December 31,
Balance Sheet Data
2019
 
2018
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
Cash and cash equivalents and marketable securities
$
1,192.2

 
$
673.5

 
$
791.0

 
$
1,100.6

 
$
1,509.7

Total assets
17,751.9

 
15,620.3

 
12,704.7

 
12,511.8

 
12,585.1

Total debt
3,326.3

 
3,734.0

 
1,372.5

 
1,690.3

 
1,745.1

Total liabilities
14,761.6

 
13,019.6

 
10,206.3

 
10,168.6

 
10,331.4

Total stockholders’ equity
2,825.6

 
2,432.8

 
2,246.3

 
2,090.4

 
2,001.8

 
1
On October 1, 2018, the Company completed its acquisition of Acxiom. See Note 6 in Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, for further detail on the acquisition.
2
Results for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015 have been recast to conform to the current-period presentation.
3
The year ended December 31, 2018 included transaction costs directly related to the acquisition of Acxiom of $35.0.
4
The years ended December 31, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015 included amortization of acquired intangibles of $86.0, $37.6, $21.1, $21.9 and $26.1, respectively.
5
In the first quarter of 2019, the Company implemented a cost initiative to better align our cost structure with our revenue primarily related to specific client losses occurring in 2018. See Note 11 in Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, for further detail regarding the restructuring charges.

16



6
The year ended December 31, 2019 included a benefit of $16.9 related to amortization of acquired intangibles, a benefit of $7.6 related to Q1 2019 restructuring charges, a benefit of $0.4 related to net losses on the sale of businesses, and a benefit of $39.2 related to the net impact of various discrete tax items. The year ended December 31, 2018 included a benefit of $12.1 from transaction costs directly related to the acquisition of Acxiom, a benefit of $23.4 related to the net impact of various discrete tax items, and a benefit of $4.8 related to amortization of acquired intangibles. The year ended December 31, 2017 primarily included a benefit of $36.0 related to the net effect of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The year ended December 31, 2016 primarily included a net reversal of valuation allowances of $12.2, a benefit of $23.4 related to the conclusion and settlement of a tax examination of previous years and a benefit of $44.6 related to refunds to be claimed on future amended U.S. federal returns.
7
The years ended December 31, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015 included after-tax losses of $45.9, $59.7, $16.7, $39.0 and $47.1, respectively, on sales of businesses. The year ended December 31, 2018 included after-tax transaction costs directly related to the acquisition of Acxiom of $36.5.
8
Refer to "Earnings Per Share" in Part II, Item 7, Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, for further detail on the basic and diluted earnings per share impacts for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018, and 2017. Basic and diluted earnings per share for the year ended December 31, 2016 included a positive impact of $0.20 per share from various discrete tax items, partially offset by a negative impact of $0.10 from losses on sales of businesses and the classification of certain assets as held for sale and $0.05 from the amortization of acquired intangibles. Basic and diluted earnings per share for the year ended December 31, 2015 included a negative impact of $0.12 per share from losses on sales of businesses.




17


Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
(Amounts in Millions, Except Per Share Amounts)

Item 7.
Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
The following Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations ("MD&A") is intended to help you understand The Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc. and its subsidiaries (the "Company," "IPG," "we," "us" or "our"). MD&A should be read in conjunction with our Consolidated Financial Statements and the accompanying notes included in this report. Our MD&A includes the following sections:
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY provides a discussion about our strategic outlook, factors influencing our business and an overview of our results of operations and liquidity.
RESULTS OF OPERATIONS provides an analysis of the consolidated and segment results of operations for 2019 compared to 2018 and 2018 compared to 2017.
LIQUIDITY AND CAPITAL RESOURCES provides an overview of our cash flows, funding requirements, contractual obligations, financing and sources of funds, and debt credit ratings.
CRITICAL ACCOUNTING ESTIMATES provides a discussion of our accounting policies that require critical judgment, assumptions and estimates.
RECENT ACCOUNTING STANDARDS, by reference to Note 17 to the Consolidated Financial Statements, provides a discussion of certain accounting standards that have been adopted during 2019 or that have not yet been required to be implemented and may be applicable to our future operations.
NON-GAAP FINANCIAL MEASURE provides a reconciliation of non-GAAP financial measure with the most directly comparable generally accepted accounting principles in the United States ("U.S. GAAP") financial measures and sets forth the reasons we believe that presentation of the non-GAAP financial measure contained therein provides useful information to investors regarding our results of operations and financial condition.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
We are one of the world’s premier global advertising and marketing services companies. Our companies specialize in consumer advertising, digital marketing, media planning and buying, public relations, specialized communications disciplines and data management. Our agencies create customized marketing programs for clients that range in scale from large global marketers to regional and local clients. Comprehensive global services are critical to effectively serve our multinational and local clients in markets throughout the world as they seek to build brands, increase sales of their products and services, and gain market share.
We operate in a media landscape that continues to evolve at a rapid pace. Media channels continue to fragment, and clients face an increasingly complex consumer environment. To stay ahead of these challenges and to achieve our objectives, we have made and continue to make investments in creative, strategic and technology talent in areas including fast-growth digital marketing channels, high-growth geographic regions and strategic world markets. We consistently review opportunities within our Company to enhance our operations through acquisitions and strategic alliances and internal programs that encourage intra-company collaboration. As appropriate, we also develop relationships with technology and emerging media companies that are building leading-edge marketing tools that complement our agencies' skill sets and capabilities.
Our financial goals include competitive organic net revenue growth and expansion of EBITA margin, as defined and discussed within the Non-GAAP Financial Measure section of this MD&A, which we expect will further strengthen our balance sheet and total liquidity and increase value to our shareholders. Accordingly, we remain focused on meeting the evolving needs of our clients while concurrently managing our cost structure. We continually seek greater efficiency in the delivery of our services, focusing on more effective resource utilization, including the productivity of our employees, real estate, information technology and shared services, such as finance, human resources and legal. The improvements we have made and continue to make in our financial reporting and business information systems in recent years allow us more timely and actionable insights from our global operations. Our disciplined approach to our balance sheet and liquidity provides us with a solid financial foundation and financial flexibility to manage and grow our business. We believe that our strategy and execution position us to meet our financial goals and to deliver long-term shareholder value.
When we analyze period-to-period changes in our operating performance, we determine the portion of the change that is attributable to changes in foreign currency rates and the net effect of acquisitions and divestitures, and the remainder we call organic change, which indicates how our underlying business performed. We exclude the impact of billable expenses in analyzing our operating performance as the fluctuations from period to period are not indicative of the performance of our underlying businesses and have no impact on our operating income or net income.
The change in our operating performance attributable to changes in foreign currency rates is determined by converting the prior-period reported results using the current-period exchange rates and comparing these prior-period adjusted amounts to the prior-period reported results. Although the U.S. Dollar is our reporting currency, a substantial portion of our revenues and expenses

18


Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - (continued)
(Amounts in Millions, Except Per Share Amounts)

are generated in foreign currencies. Therefore, our reported results are affected by fluctuations in the currencies in which we conduct our international businesses. Our exposure is mitigated as the majority of our revenues and expenses in any given market are generally denominated in the same currency. Both positive and negative currency fluctuations against the U.S. Dollar affect our consolidated results of operations, and the magnitude of the foreign currency impact to our operations related to each geographic region depends on the significance and operating performance of the region. The foreign currencies that most adversely impacted our results during the year ended December 31, 2019 were the British Pound Sterling and Euro.
For purposes of analyzing changes in our operating performance attributable to the net effect of acquisitions and divestitures, transactions are treated as if they occurred on the first day of the quarter during which the transaction occurred. During the past few years, we have acquired companies that we believe will enhance our offerings and disposed of businesses that are not consistent with our strategic plan.
The metrics that we use to evaluate our financial performance include organic change in net revenue as well as the change in certain operating expenses, and the components thereof, expressed as a percentage of consolidated net revenue, as well as EBITA. These metrics are also used by management to assess the financial performance of our reportable segments, Integrated Agency Networks ("IAN") and Constituency Management Group ("CMG"). In certain of our discussions, we analyze net revenue by geographic region and by business sector, in which we focus on our top 100 clients, which typically constitute approximately 55% to 60% of our annual consolidated net revenues.
The following table presents a summary of our financial performance for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017.
 
Years ended December 31,
 
Change
 
 
2019 vs 2018
 
2018 vs 2017
Statement of Operations Data
2019
 
2018
 
2017
 
% Increase/
(Decrease)
 
% Increase/
(Decrease)
REVENUE:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net revenue
$
8,625.1

 
$
8,031.6

 
$
7,473.5

 
7.4
 %
 
7.5
%
Billable expenses
1,596.2

 
1,682.8

 
1,574.1

 
(5.1
)%
 
6.9
%
Total revenue
$
10,221.3

 
$
9,714.4

 
$
9,047.6

 
5.2
 %
 
7.4
%
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
OPERATING INCOME 1, 2
$
1,086.0

 
$
1,008.8

 
$
938.4

 
7.7
 %
 
7.5
%
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
EBITA 1, 2, 3
$
1,172.0

 
$
1,046.4

 
$
959.5

 
12.0
 %
 
9.1
%
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
NET INCOME AVAILABLE TO IPG COMMON STOCKHOLDERS
$
656.0

 
$
618.9

 
$
554.4

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Earnings per share available to IPG common stockholders:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Basic 1, 2
$
1.70

 
$
1.61

 
$
1.42

 
 
 
 
Diluted 1, 2
$
1.68

 
$
1.59

 
$
1.40

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Operating Ratios
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Organic change in net revenue
3.3
%
 
5.5
%
 
1.5
 %
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Operating margin on net revenue 1, 2
12.6
%
 
12.6
%
 
12.6
 %
 
 
 
 
Operating margin on total revenue 1, 2
10.6
%
 
10.4
%
 
10.4
 %
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
EBITA margin on net revenue 1, 2, 3
13.6
%
 
13.0
%
 
12.8
 %
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Expenses as a % of net revenue:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Salaries and related expenses
64.6
%
 
66.0
%
 
66.8
 %
 
 
 
 
Office and other direct expenses
18.1
%
 
16.9
%
 
17.0
 %
 
 
 
 
Selling, general and administrative expenses 1
1.1
%
 
2.1
%
 
1.6
 %
 
 
 
 
Depreciation and amortization
3.2
%
 
2.5
%
 
2.1
 %
 
 
 
 
Restructuring charges 2
0.4
%
 
0.0
%
 
0.0
 %
 
 
 
 

19


Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - (continued)
(Amounts in Millions, Except Per Share Amounts)

 
1
In 2018, results include transaction costs of $35.0 related to the Acxiom acquisition.
2
In 2019, results include restructuring charges of $33.9. See "Restructuring Charges" in MD&A and Note 11 of Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data for further information.
3
EBITA is a financial measure that is not defined by U.S. GAAP. EBITA is calculated as net income available to IPG common stockholder before provision for incomes taxes, total (expenses) and other income, equity in net income (loss) of unconsolidated affiliates, net income attributable to noncontrolling interests and amortization of acquired intangibles. Refer to the Non-GAAP Financial Measure section of this MD&A for additional information and for a reconciliation to U.S. GAAP measures.
Our organic net revenue increase of 3.3% for the year ended December 31, 2019 was driven by growth across nearly all geographic regions, attributable to a combination of net higher spending from existing clients and net client wins, most notably in the healthcare, financial services, technology and telecom, and retail sectors, partially offset by a decrease in the auto and transportation sector. During the year ended December 31, 2019, our EBITA margin on net revenue grew to 13.6% from 13.0% in the prior-year period as the increase in net revenue outpaced the overall increase in our operating expense, excluding billable expenses and amortization of acquired intangibles.
Our organic net revenue increase of 5.5% for the year ended December 31, 2018 was driven by growth throughout all geographic regions, and attributable to a combination of net client wins and net higher spending from existing clients, most notably in the healthcare sector, partially offset by decreases in the food and beverage sector. During the year ended December 31, 2018, our EBITA margin on net revenue increased to 13.0% from 12.8% in the prior-year period as the increase in net revenue outpaced the overall increase in our operating expense, excluding billable expenses and amortization of acquired intangibles.

RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
Consolidated Results of Operations
Net Revenue
Our net revenue is directly impacted by the retention and spending levels of existing clients and by our ability to win new clients. Most of our expenses are recognized ratably throughout the year and are therefore less seasonal than revenue. Our net revenue is typically lowest in the first quarter and highest in the fourth quarter, reflecting the seasonal spending of our clients.
 
Year ended December 31, 2018
 
Components of Change
 
Year ended December 31, 2019
 
Change
 
Foreign
Currency
 
Net
Acquisitions/
(Divestitures)
 
Organic
 
Organic
 
Total
Consolidated
$
8,031.6

 
$
(143.1
)
 
$
467.8

 
$
268.8

 
$
8,625.1

 
3.3
 %
 
7.4
 %
Domestic
4,825.0

 
0.0

 
469.9

 
91.2

 
5,386.1

 
1.9
 %
 
11.6
 %
International
3,206.6

 
(143.1
)
 
(2.1
)
 
177.6

 
3,239.0

 
5.5
 %
 
1.0
 %
United Kingdom
711.7

 
(32.0
)
 
20.8

 
26.5

 
727.0

 
3.7
 %
 
2.1
 %
Continental Europe
737.5

 
(40.6
)
 
(8.4
)
 
53.9

 
742.4

 
7.3
 %
 
0.7
 %
Asia Pacific
896.8

 
(26.2
)
 
(9.9
)
 
(2.4
)
 
858.3

 
(0.3
)%
 
(4.3
)%
Latin America
350.1

 
(34.4
)
 
(2.1
)
 
76.3

 
389.9

 
21.8
 %
 
11.4
 %
Other
510.5

 
(9.9
)
 
(2.5
)
 
23.3

 
521.4

 
4.6
 %
 
2.1
 %
The organic increase in our domestic market was primarily driven by growth at our advertising and media businesses as well as our data management business. In our international markets, the organic increase was primarily driven by strong performance at our media businesses throughout all geographic regions. In addition, the organic increase was also driven by growth at our advertising businesses and our public relations agencies as well as at our digital specialist agencies in Latin America. Consolidated net acquisitions primarily includes net revenue during the first nine months ended September 30, 2019 from Acxiom, which we acquired on October 1, 2018, partially offset by divestitures, mostly in our domestic market, Asia Pacific and Continental Europe regions.

20


Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - (continued)
(Amounts in Millions, Except Per Share Amounts)

 
Year ended December 31, 2017
 
Components of Change
 
Year ended December 31, 2018
 
Change
 
Foreign
Currency
 
Net
Acquisitions/
(Divestitures)
 
Organic
 
Organic
 
Total
Consolidated
$
7,473.5

 
$
15.9

 
$
128.2

 
$
414.0

 
$
8,031.6

 
5.5
%
 
7.5
 %
Domestic
4,458.8

 
0.0

 
139.9

 
226.3

 
4,825.0

 
5.1
%
 
8.2
 %
International
3,014.7

 
15.9

 
(11.7
)
 
187.7

 
3,206.6

 
6.2
%
 
6.4
 %
United Kingdom
613.1

 
24.1

 
15.3

 
59.2

 
711.7

 
9.7
%
 
16.1
 %
Continental Europe
687.8

 
27.8

 
(14.7
)
 
36.6

 
737.5

 
5.3
%
 
7.2
 %
Asia Pacific
866.9

 
(2.0
)
 
(2.0
)
 
33.9

 
896.8

 
3.9
%
 
3.4
 %
Latin America
350.8

 
(35.6
)
 
(6.1
)
 
41.0

 
350.1

 
11.7
%
 
(0.2
)%
Other
496.1

 
1.6

 
(4.2
)
 
17.0

 
510.5

 
3.4
%
 
2.9
 %
The organic increase in our domestic market was driven by growth across all disciplines, most notably at our advertising and media businesses. In our international markets, the organic increase was driven by growth across all geographic regions and nearly all disciplines, primarily at our media and advertising businesses and our digital specialist agencies, including strong performance at our advertising businesses in the United Kingdom and at our media businesses in the Continental Europe, Latin America and United Kingdom regions. Consolidated net acquisitions primarily includes net revenue from Acxiom, which we acquired on October 1, 2018.
Refer to the segment discussion later in this MD&A for information on changes in revenue by segment.

Salaries and Related Expenses
 
Years ended December 31,
 
Change
 
 
2019 vs 2018
 
2018 vs 2017
 
2019
 
2018
 
2017
 
% Increase/ (Decrease)
 
% Increase/ (Decrease)
Salaries and related expenses
$
5,568.8

 
$
5,298.3

 
$
4,990.7

 
5.1
%
 
6.2
%
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
As a % of net revenue:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Salaries and related expenses
64.6
%
 
66.0
%
 
66.8
%
 
 
 
 
Base salaries, benefits and tax
54.5
%
 
54.9
%
 
56.1
%
 
 
 
 
Incentive expense
3.3
%
 
3.7
%
 
3.3
%
 
 
 
 
Severance expense
0.6
%
 
0.9
%
 
1.0
%
 
 
 
 
Temporary help
4.1
%
 
4.2
%
 
3.9
%
 
 
 
 
All other salaries and related expenses
2.1
%
 
2.3
%
 
2.5
%
 
 
 
 
Net revenue growth of 7.4% outpaced the increase in salaries and related expenses of 5.1% during the year ended December 31, 2019 as compared to the prior-year period, primarily due to base salaries, benefits and tax, and temporary help expenses increasing at rates less than net revenue growth. The improved ratio was also attributable to the inclusion of Acxiom, for the full year in 2019, which has a lower ratio of salaries and related expenses as a percentage of its net revenue as well as a result of carefully managing our employee costs.
Net revenue growth of 7.5% outpaced the increase in salaries and related expenses of 6.2% in 2018 as compared to the prior-year period, primarily driven by leverage in base salaries, benefits and tax, partially offset by higher incentive expense as a result of improved financial performance and higher temporary help to support business growth. The acquisition of Acxiom, completed on October 1, 2018, did not have a significant impact on the ratios presented above.


21


Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - (continued)
(Amounts in Millions, Except Per Share Amounts)

Office and Other Direct Expenses
 
Years ended December 31,
 
Change
 
 
2019 vs 2018
 
2018 vs 2017
 
2019
 
2018
 
2017
 
% Increase/ (Decrease)
 
% Increase/ (Decrease)
Office and other direct expenses
$
1,564.1

 
$
1,355.1

 
$
1,269.2

 
15.4
%
 
6.8
%
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
As a % of net revenue:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Office and other direct expenses
18.1
%
 
16.9
%
 
17.0
%
 
 
 
 
Occupancy expense
6.3
%
 
6.5
%
 
6.8
%
 
 
 
 
All other office and other direct expenses 1
11.8
%
 
10.4
%
 
10.2
%
 
 
 
 
 
1
Includes production expenses, travel and entertainment, professional fees, spending to support new business activity, telecommunications, office supplies, bad debt expense, adjustments to contingent acquisition obligations, foreign currency losses (gains) and other expenses.
Office and other direct expenses increased by 15.4% compared to net revenue growth of 7.4% during the year ended December 31, 2019 as compared to the prior-year period. The increase in office and other direct expenses was mainly due to the inclusion of Acxiom, for the full year in 2019, which has a higher ratio of office and other direct expenses as a percentage of its net revenue, primarily driven by client service costs and professional fees. Additionally, contributing to the increase was a year-over-year change in contingent acquisition obligations, partially offset by leverage on occupancy expense.
Net revenue growth of 7.5% outpaced the increase in office and other direct expenses of 6.8% in 2018 as compared to the prior-year period, primarily driven by leverage in occupancy expense, partially offset by an increase in client service costs from Acxiom and year-over-year change in contingent acquisition obligations.

Selling, General and Administrative Expenses
Selling, general and administrative expenses ("SG&A") are primarily the unallocated expenses of our Corporate, as detailed further in the segment discussion later in this MD&A, excluding depreciation and amortization. SG&A as a percentage of net revenue decreased to 1.1% in 2019 from 2.1% in the prior-year period, primarily attributable to lower professional fees, mainly driven by transaction costs related to the Acxiom acquisition in 2018 and an increase in allocated service fees from Selling, General and Administrative expenses to Cost of Services, mainly as a result of the inclusion of Acxiom. SG&A as a percentage of net revenue increased to 2.1% in 2018 from 1.6% in 2017, primarily as a result of transaction costs related to the Acxiom acquisition and higher incentive expense.
Depreciation and Amortization
Depreciation and amortization as a percentage of net revenue was 3.2% in 2019, 2.5% in 2018 and 2.1% in 2017. The increases in both 2019 and 2018 compared to prior-year periods were primarily due to the inclusion of Acxiom. For the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017, amortization of acquired intangibles was $86.0, $37.6 and $21.1, respectively.
Restructuring Charges
In the first quarter of 2019, the Company implemented a cost initiative (the “2019 Plan”) to better align our cost structure with our revenue primarily related to specific client losses occurring in 2018, the components of which are listed below. All restructuring actions were substantially completed by the end of the second quarter of 2019 and we don't expect any further restructuring adjustments to the 2019 Plan.
 
Years ended December 31,
 
2019
 
2018
 
2017
Severance and termination costs
$
22.0

 
$
0.0

 
$
0.0

Lease restructuring costs
11.9

 
0.0

 
(0.4
)
Total restructuring charges
$
33.9

 
$
0.0

 
$
(0.4
)
The following table presents the 2019 Plan restructuring charges and employee headcount reduction for the twelve months ended December 31, 2019.

22


Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - (continued)
(Amounts in Millions, Except Per Share Amounts)

 
Restructuring Charges
 
Headcount Reduction (Actual Number)
Domestic
$
26.3

 
507

International
7.6

 
120

Consolidated
$
33.9

 
627


EXPENSES AND OTHER INCOME
 
Years ended December 31,
 
2019
 
2018
 
2017
Cash interest on debt obligations
$
(188.3
)
 
$
(118.4
)
 
$
(81.9
)
Non-cash interest
(11.0
)
 
(4.6
)
 
(8.9
)
Interest expense
(199.3
)
 
(123.0
)
 
(90.8
)
Interest income
34.5

 
21.8

 
19.4

Net interest expense
(164.8
)
 
(101.2
)
 
(71.4
)
Other expense, net
(42.9
)
 
(69.6
)
 
(26.2
)
Total (expenses) and other income
$
(207.7
)
 
$
(170.8
)
 
$
(97.6
)
Net Interest Expense
For 2019, net interest expense increased by $63.6 as compared to 2018, primarily attributable to increased cash interest expense from the issuance of $2,500.0 of long-term debt in September and October of 2018 in order to finance the acquisition of Acxiom, partially offset by an increase in interest income, primarily due to higher cash balances in international markets. For 2018, net interest expense increased by $29.8 as compared to 2017, primarily attributable to increased cash interest expense from the issuance of long-term debt in 2018 as well as increased short-term borrowings and higher interest rates throughout the year. This was partially offset by decreased non-cash interest expense from revaluations of mandatorily redeemable noncontrolling interests.

Other Expense, Net
Results of operations include certain items that are not directly associated with our revenue-producing operations.
 
Years ended December 31,
 
2019
 
2018
 
2017
Net losses on sales of businesses
$
(43.4
)
 
$
(61.9
)
 
$
(24.1
)
Other
0.5

 
(7.7
)
 
(2.1
)
Total other expense, net
$
(42.9
)
 
$
(69.6
)
 
$
(26.2
)
Net losses on sales of businesses – During 2019, the amounts recognized were related to sales of businesses and the classification of certain assets and liabilities, consisting primarily of cash, as held for sale within our IAN and CMG reportable segments. During 2018, the amounts recognized were related to sales of businesses and the classification of certain assets and liabilities, consisting primarily of cash, as held for sale within our IAN and CMG reportable segments. During 2017, the amounts recognized were related to sales of businesses and the classification of certain assets and liabilities, consisting primarily of cash, accounts receivable and accounts payable, as held for sale within our IAN reportable segment. The businesses held for sale as of year end primarily represent unprofitable, non-strategic agencies which are expected to be sold within the next twelve months.
Other – During 2019, the amounts recognized are primarily a result of changes in fair market value of equity investments, partially offset by the sale of an equity investment. During 2018, the amounts recognized are primarily a result of transaction-related costs from the Acxiom acquisition, partially offset by changes in fair market value of equity investments.

INCOME TAXES
 
Years ended December 31,
 
2019
 
2018
 
2017
Income before income taxes
$
878.3

 
$
838.0

 
$
840.8

Provision for income taxes
$
204.8

 
$
199.2

 
$
271.3

Effective income tax rate
23.3
%
 
23.8
%
 
32.3
%

23


Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - (continued)
(Amounts in Millions, Except Per Share Amounts)


Effective Tax Rate
Our tax rates are affected by many factors, including our worldwide earnings from various countries, changes in legislation and tax characteristics of our income. In 2019, our effective income tax rate of 23.3% was positively impacted by the reversal of valuation allowances primarily in Continental Europe, by the settlement of state income tax audits and by excess tax benefits on employee share-based payments.The effective tax rate was negatively impacted by losses in certain foreign jurisdictions where we receive no tax benefit due to 100% valuation allowances, net losses on sales of businesses and the classification of certain assets as held for sale, for which we received minimal tax benefit.
In 2018, our effective income tax rate of 23.8% was positively impacted by U.S. tax incentives, foreign tax credits from a distribution of unremitted earnings, the net reversal of valuation allowance in Continental Europe and research and development credits. The effective income tax rate was negatively impacted by losses in certain foreign jurisdictions where we received no tax benefit due to 100% valuation allowances, non-deductible losses on sales of businesses and assets held for sale, by tax expense associated with the change to our assertion regarding the permanent reinvestment of undistributed earnings attributable to certain foreign subsidiaries, and by tax expense related to the true-up of our December 31, 2017 tax reform estimates as permitted by SEC Staff issued Accounting Bulletin No. 118 (“SAB 118”).
Public Law 115-97, commonly referred to as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the "Tax Act") was signed into law on December 22, 2017. The Tax Act legislated many new tax provisions which impacted our operations. At December 31, 2017, provisional amounts were recorded as permitted by SAB 118. The impact of the Tax Act as required by SAB 118, resulted in a net tax expense of $13.4 in 2018, which was primarily attributable to our estimate of the tax imposed on the deemed repatriation of unremitted foreign earnings.
The Company has historically asserted that its unremitted foreign earnings are permanently reinvested, and therefore did not record income taxes on such amounts. In light of increased debt and associated servicing commitments in connection with the Acxiom acquisition that was consummated on October 1, 2018, the Company re-evaluated its global cash needs and as a result determined that approximately $435.0 of undistributed foreign earnings from certain international entities were no longer subject to the permanent reinvestment assertion. We recorded a tax expense of $10.8 in 2018 representing our estimate of the tax costs associated with this change to our assertion. We did not change our permanent reinvestment assertion with respect to any other international entities as we used the related historical earnings and profits to fund international operations and investments.
The Tax Act imposed a new tax on certain foreign earnings generated in 2018 and forward. These global intangible low-taxed income ("GILTI") tax rules are complex. U.S. GAAP allows us to choose an accounting policy which treats the U.S. tax under GILTI provisions as either a current expense, as incurred, or as a component of the Company’s measurement of deferred taxes. The Company elected to account for the GILTI tax as a current expense.
In 2017, our effective income tax rate of 32.3% was positively impacted by a net benefit of $36.0 as a result of the Tax Act, as well as excess tax benefits on employee share-based payments, partially offset by losses in certain foreign jurisdictions where we receive no tax benefit due to 100% valuation allowances.
See Note 9 in Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data for further information.

EARNINGS PER SHARE
Basic earnings per share available to IPG common stockholders for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017 were $1.70, $1.61 and $1.42 per share, respectively. Diluted earnings per share for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017 were $1.68, $1.59 and $1.40 per share, respectively.
Basic and diluted earnings per share for the year ended December 31, 2019 included negative impacts of $0.18 from the amortization of acquired intangibles, negative impacts of $0.06 from first-quarter restructuring charges, negative impacts of $0.12 from losses on sales of businesses and the classification of certain assets as held for sale, for which we received minimal tax benefit, partially offset by positive impacts of $0.10 from various discrete tax items.
Basic and diluted earnings per share for the year ended December 31, 2018 included negative impacts of $0.16 and $0.15, respectively, from losses on sales of businesses and the classification of certain assets as held for sale primarily in our international markets, negative impacts of $0.10 and $0.09, respectively, from transaction costs directly related to the acquisition of Acxiom, and negative impacts of $0.09 and $0.08, respectively, from the amortization of acquired intangibles, partially offset by positive impacts of $0.06 and $0.06, respectively, from various discrete tax items.
Basic and diluted earnings per share for the year ended December 31, 2017 included negative impacts of $0.05 from the amortization of acquired intangibles, and negative impacts of $0.04 from losses on sales of businesses and the classification of certain assets as held for sale, offset by net positive impacts of $0.09 as a result of the Tax Act.

24


Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - (continued)
(Amounts in Millions, Except Per Share Amounts)


Segment Results of Operations
As discussed in Note 15 to the Consolidated Financial Statements, we have two reportable segments as of December 31, 2019: IAN and CMG. We also report results for the "Corporate and other" group.

IAN
Net Revenue
 
Year ended December 31, 2018 1
 
Components of Change
 
Year ended December 31, 2019
 
Change
 
Foreign
Currency
 
Net
Acquisitions/
(Divestitures)
 
Organic
 
Organic
 
Total
Consolidated
$
6,767.5

 
$
(124.5
)
 
$
465.5

 
$
239.7

 
$
7,348.2

 
3.5
%
 
8.6
%
Domestic
4,000.4

 
0.0

 
471.6

 
85.5

 
4,557.5

 
2.1
%
 
13.9
%
International
2,767.1

 
(124.5
)
 
(6.1
)
 
154.2

 
2,790.7

 
5.6
%
 
0.9
%
 
1 Results for the year ended December 31, 2018 have been recast to conform to the current-period presentation.
The organic increase was attributable to a combination of net higher spending from existing clients and net client wins, most notably in the healthcare, financial services, technology and telecom, and retail sectors, partially offset by a decrease in the auto and transportation sector. The organic increase in our domestic market was primarily driven by growth at our advertising and media businesses as well as our data management business. In our international markets, the organic increase was primarily driven by strong performance at our media businesses throughout all geographic regions. In addition, the organic increase was also driven by growth at our advertising businesses and our digital specialist agencies in Latin America. Consolidated net acquisitions primarily includes net revenue during the first nine months ended September 30, 2019 from Acxiom, which we acquired on October 1, 2018, partially offset by divestitures, mostly in our domestic market, Asia Pacific and Continental Europe regions.
 
Year ended December 31, 2017
 
Components of Change
 
Year ended December 31, 2018 1
 
Change
 
Foreign
Currency
 
Net
Acquisitions/
(Divestitures) 1
 
Organic
 
Organic
 
Total 1
Consolidated
$
6,266.7

 
$
6.9

 
$
120.6

 
$
373.3

 
$
6,767.5

 
6.0
%
 
8.0
%
Domestic
3,660.6

 
0.0

 
139.8

 
200.0

 
4,000.4

 
5.5
%
 
9.3
%
International
2,606.1

 
6.9

 
(19.2
)
 
173.3

 
2,767.1

 
6.6
%
 
6.2
%
 
1 Results for the year ended December 31, 2018 have been recast to conform to the current-period presentation.
The organic increase was attributable to net client wins and net higher spending from existing clients, most notably in the healthcare sector, partially offset by decreases in the food and beverage sector. The organic increase in our domestic market was driven by growth across all of our major networks. The international organic increase was driven by growth across all geographic regions and all disciplines, primarily at our media and advertising businesses and our digital specialist agencies, including strong performance at our advertising businesses in the United Kingdom and at our media businesses in the Continental Europe, Latin America and United Kingdom regions. Consolidated net acquisitions primarily includes net revenue from Acxiom, which we acquired on October 1, 2018.

Segment EBITA
 
Years ended December 31,
 
Change
 
2019
 
2018
 
2017
 
2019 vs 2018

2018 vs 2017
Segment EBITA 1, 2
$
1,110.4

 
$
1,042.1

 
$
891.7

 
6.6
%
 
16.9
%
EBITA margin on net revenue 1, 2
15.1
%
 
15.4
%
 
14.2
%
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
Segment EBITA and EBITA margin on net revenue include $27.6 of restructuring charges in the year ended December 31, 2019. See "Restructuring Charges" in MD&A and Note 11 of Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data for further information.
2
Results for the year ended December 31, 2018 have been recast to conform to the current-period presentation.

25


Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - (continued)
(Amounts in Millions, Except Per Share Amounts)

EBITA margin decreased during 2019 when compared to 2018, as the increase in operating expenses, excluding billable expenses and amortization of acquired intangibles, outpaced the net revenue growth of 8.6%, the organic component of which was discussed in detail above. The EBITA margin decrease of 0.3% included restructuring charges of $27.6, or 0.4% as a percentage of net revenue, during 2019 to better align our cost structure with our revenue. The comparison was also adversely impacted due to higher allocated service fees, from our Selling, General and Administrative expenses, to Cost of Services, mainly as a result of the inclusion of Acxiom. Net revenue growth outpaced the increase in salaries and related expenses as compared to the prior-year period, primarily driven by lower percentages of its net revenue in base salaries, benefits and tax, temporary help expenses and incentive expense. The improved salaries and related expenses ratio was also attributable to the inclusion of Acxiom, which has a lower ratio of salaries and related expenses as a percentage of its net revenue as well as a result of carefully managing our employee costs. The increase in office and other direct expenses outpaced the growth in net revenue as compared to the prior-year period, mainly due to the inclusion of Acxiom, which has a higher ratio of office and other direct expense as a percentage of its net revenue, driven by client service costs and professional fees. However, overall office and other direct expenses primarily benefited from leverage on occupancy expense. Depreciation and amortization, excluding amortization of acquired intangibles, as a percentage of net revenue increased to 2.3% in 2019 from 2.0% in the prior-year period, primarily due to the inclusion of Acxiom.
EBITA margin increased during 2018 when compared to 2017, as net revenue growth of 8.0%, the organic component of which was discussed in detail above, outpaced the increase in operating expenses, excluding billable expenses and amortization of acquired intangibles, primarily driven by leverage in base salaries, benefits and tax and occupancy expense, partially offset by higher incentive expense as a result of improved financial performance and higher temporary help to support business growth. Depreciation and amortization, excluding amortization of acquired intangibles, as a percentage of net revenue increased to 2.0% in 2018 from 1.7% in the prior-year period, primarily due to the inclusion of Acxiom.

CMG
Net Revenue
 
Year ended December 31, 2018
 
Components of Change
 
Year ended December 31, 2019
 
Change
 
Foreign
Currency
 
Net
Acquisitions/
(Divestitures)
 
Organic
 
Organic
 
Total
Consolidated
$
1,264.1

 
$
(18.6
)
 
$
2.3

 
$
29.1

 
$
1,276.9

 
2.3
%
 
1.0
%
Domestic
824.6

 
0.0

 
(1.7
)
 
5.7

 
828.6

 
0.7
%
 
0.5
%
International
439.5

 
(18.6
)
 
4.0

 
23.4

 
448.3

 
5.3
%
 
2.0
%
The organic increase was primarily attributable to net client wins and net higher spending from existing clients, most notably in the healthcare and technology and telecom sectors, partially offset by a decrease in the auto and transportation sector. The organic increase in our domestic market was primarily due to growth at our sports marketing business, partially offset by declines at our event businesses. The international organic increase was driven by growth across all geographic regions and disciplines, primarily at our public relations agencies, most notably in the United Kingdom and Continental Europe regions, and sports marketing business, most notably in the Asia Pacific region.