Omnicom isn’t shying away from artificial intelligence, as Microsoft and Google race to integrate content-producing technology such as ChatGPT into their products.
CEO John Wren said generative AI has the potential to automate large portions of its advertising business as the holding company reported its Q4 earnings on Tuesday.
“All of the automation that we’re looking at enhances the capabilities of and makes the job easier for our best and brightest people,” he said, adding that Omnicom will “be embracing it as quickly as we possibly can.”
Wren added that he was initially skeptical of AI but expects Microsoft to quickly improve the technology as it’s integrated into search engine Bing and browser Edge.
Omnicom reported global revenue of $3.9 billion in Q4, up 7.2% organically from the same period in 2021. The holding company's 2022 revenue increased 9.4% organically to $14.29 billion. Its Q4 net income increased 3.3% to $429.8 million.
Omnicom’s PR firms posted an organic revenue increase of 12.7% in Q4 to $401.5 million and an increase of 13.7% for the full year to $1.55 billion.
In a press event on Tuesday, Microsoft rolled out an updated version of Bing — the search engine is live in a limited desktop preview — that complements traditional search results with information scrounged by AI. It also introduced a Bing chatbot, which functions similarly to ChatGPT with an added news search function and the ability to show ads. Edge will also have a chat feature that summarizes webpages and composes text as a writing assistant.
Google unveiled similar summarization functions powered by its rival chatbot, Bard, that will be made public “in coming months” at its own AI-focused event on Wednesday. It also showed off search functions that pair text and images, an Immersive View in Google Maps that provides detailed info such as weather and a Google Lens AR feature that tacks translated text onto images.
However, shares of Google parent Alphabet dipped on Wednesday after its Bard chatbot ad showed inaccurate information, according to Reuters.