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Publicis Q3 sales slow, optimistic for 2014

PARIS, Oct 16 (Reuters) - French ad group Publicis , which is merging with U.S. peer Omnicom Group , stuck to its target for higher full-year organic sales growth on Wednesday despite a slowdown in the third quarter on weaker emerging markets.

Publicis said it expected a further improvement in growth next year following the expected completion of the merger in the first quarter of 2014, underpinned by demand in the United States and expansion in digital advertising.

"Caution is required particularly since the global economic situation has come under the threat of government shutdown in the U.S.," Chief Executive Maurice Levy said. "We are nonetheless confident about 2013."

Publicis and Omnicom unveiled plans in July to combine to create the world's biggest advertising group, worth $35.1 billion, in what they presented as a "merger of equals".