Publicis to focus on digital work, fast-growing countries

LONDON: Publicis Groupe unveiled a new model for its ad agencies, putting digital at the core and a greater emphasis on operations in fast-growing countries, at its Tuesday investor day in London.

LONDON: Publicis Groupe unveiled a new model for its ad agencies, putting digital at the core and a greater emphasis on operations in fast-growing countries, at its Tuesday investor day in London.

The goal of the new agency structure is to deliver propriety technology products for its clients. Publicis, which owns MSLGroup, said in a statement that clients will benefit from “state of the art” innovation, products, services, and a pooling of these resources.

The holding company also laid out plans for 75% of its revenue to come from digital operations and high-growth countries by 2018.

MSLGroup representatives did not respond to a request seeking comment on how, if at all, the PR network fits into the plan.

Publicis said the growth leveraged from this five-year transformation in digital and fast-growing country operations will outpace the global ad market average.

Publicis chairman and CEO Maurice Levy has long emphasized the strategic importance of digital and fast-growing markets for the holding company, which was formalized with this announcement.

“Our partnerships with key players in the innovative digital industry…keep us on top of the game and help us indentify future trends,” Levy said in a statement. “We have strategic edges and advantages: we are the place where technology, innovation, strategy, and creativity converge. IT+IQ+EQ is the sweet spot of the marketing economy: this is Publicis Groupe.”

Over the past seven years, the Paris-based holding company has made major acquisitions in digital, including Digitas, Razorfish, Rosetta, Big Fuel, and most recently LBi. It merged Digitas and LBi into one digital network in February.

In its most recent financial results, Publicis said digital accounted for 37% of revenue in the first quarter of 2013, up 8.5% compared with the prior year. The combined revenue of digital activities and revenue from emerging economies was close to 60% of consolidated earnings in Q1 2013.

Its total revenue in the quarter was $2.04 billion. That was above internal expectations, but failed to meet analyst projections. The holding company's MSLGroup PR network saw organic revenue growth of between 2% and 3% in the first quarter of this year, outpacing Publicis' overall organic revenue growth of 1.3%.

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