PARIS: Publicis Groupe has taken a stake in AG Partners, a pan-African network of communications agencies, to offer marcomms services to clients across the continent.
AG Partners CEO of francophone Africa Isabelle Aimonetti will continue in her current role and report to CEO of Publicis Africa Group Kevin Tromp.
The partnership will boost the firms’ comms services for clients across Africa, the holding company said in a statement. It did not specify how much of a stake in AG Publicis had purchased.
AG Partners encompasses 14 agencies in 13 countries including Benin, the Central African Republic, Congo, Gabon, and Togo. Its services range from creative and digital to PR and media and it is focused on growing and developing brands in French-speaking Africa.
Publicis Worldwide’s network will support the partnership globally. The holding company has a presence in South Africa through Publicis South Africa and OwenKessel, its creative and digital agencies.
In South Africa, Publicis Groupe has also acquired digital agency Prima Integrated Marketing, which will be rebranded as Prima Arc and become part of the Publicis Africa Group network. Prima MD Peter Farrell will continue in his role and report to Tromp.
The holding company also said it has acquired Mexican agency Lead2Action, which will be integrated into Publicis Mexico.
Publicis representatives were not immediately available for comment.
Other recent acquisitions by Publicis include Indian integrated agency Beehive Communications in October 2013 and US-based healthcare analytics firm Verilogue last December. In January, it bought US public affairs firm Qorvis and added it to MSLGroup, and it acquired Salterbaxter to boost MSL’s sustainability work in the UK earlier this month.
Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that Publicis CEO Maurice Levy asked company executives to submit proposals for an overarching strategy, as it looks to bounce back from calling off a $35 billion mega-merger with Omnicom Group in May.
The proposals, due July 14, should be focused on how the company should be structured to "function better in digital advertising." Levy will present the new plan in September, according to the Journal.
In April, Publicis reported a 3.3% organic revenue increase in the first quarter of 2014, compared with the prior year, to $2.2 billion. Digital accounted for nearly 41% of revenue in the period, the holding company said.