The Publicis advertising network has been gradually phased out in Australia in favour of sister brands. That marks quite a change from the 2000s when the network's local outpost, known for many years as Publicis Mojo, earned a reputation as one of Publicis Worldwide's strongest creative agencies, close behind the Paris flagship. That was mainly as a result of the input of local chairman & chief creative officer Craig Davis, and the agency's star has waned significantly since his resignation at the end of 2012. Andrew Baxter replaced Joe Pollard as chief executive in 2014, and three years later was named chairman of the Publicis Communications regional entity across Australia and New Zealand, but then departed the group in 2018. Michael Rebelo is now CEO of Publicis Communications ANZ, overseeing all the parent Groupe's creative agencies in the region. However, in 2016, following the loss of several accounts, Publicis Mojo Sydney was rebranded to become the local outpost of Publicis sister network Marcel (until being absorbed into Saatchi & Saatchi in 2020). The Publicis offices in Melbourne and Brisbane dropped the Mojo tag at around the same time. Publicis Melbourne subsequently relaunched as a digital CRM specialist under the name Publicis Engine, so the only remaining Publicis-branded advertising agency is the Brisbane office. There are also offices for sponsorship business Publicis Sport & Entertainment and digital division Publicis Sapient. The "Mojo" tag used until 2016 was inherited from the agency's original founders Alan "Mo" Morris and Allan "Jo" Johnston, who set up shop in 1979. Their Mojo agency became one of Australia's biggest during the 1980s, responsible for the widely renowned "Shrimp on the Barbie" campaign for Tourism Australia which made a global star of comedian Paul Hogan. However, a takeover by US agency Chiat/Day went sour and the business was sold on in 1992 to FCB. The US network's global joint venture with Publicis proved equally unhappy and Mojo transferred to the French group in 1997 as part of the settlement in the two networks' bitter divorce. See also the Adbrands profile of the main Publicis Worldwide network.
Capsule checked 22nd June 2020
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