Publicis Worldwide : advertising & marketing profile

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Publicis Worldwide is the name of the biggest advertising network within the much-expanded Publicis Groupe, sitting alongside the Saatchi & Saatchi and Leo Burnett networks. Originally founded just after the Second World War by entrepreneur Marcel Bleustein, the agency was one of the first in France to diversify into areas such as market research and multimedia. It began to establish an international presence in the 1970s, and steadily climbed the worldwide rankings over the next four decades through a series of canny acquisitions, and by absorbing several important outposts in the former D'Arcy Worldwide network. Despite occasionally brilliant work from its flagship outpost in Paris, the rest of the Publicis Worldwide network arguably follows a more straightforward creative path than the other major networks within the wider Publicis Groupe.

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Recent stories from Adbrands Update:

Adbrands Social Media 4th Jul 2019: "Policeman / Windscreen / Bear". Don't be tempted to fit cheap car parts; they'll end up costing you in other ways. That's the message of this entertaining ad series from Publicis Conseil for Renault Genuine Parts. Each of the gags is delivered deliciously dry; it's a style of American humour we don't often see in French ads, but it works brilliantly.

Adbrands Social Media 17th Jun 2019: "JCVD". Say what you like about Jean-Claude van Damme, but he's certainly game for a laugh. Ever since the effective end of his martial arts movie career, he's reinvented himself as a cartoon version of Jean-Claude van Damme for advertisers. And for the most part his choices of campaign have been excellent; whether freezing his socks off halfway up a mountain for Coors Light or performing the ultimate split for Volvo Trucks. In this latest campaign for Orange in Belgium, Publicis Brussels has resurrected CP&B's seminal "Subservient Chicken" concept, originally conceived for Burger King. Click through from these promo spots to the dedicated Orange website and you can help write your own script (with a few necessary limitations of course) for Jean-Claude to perform just for you.

Adbrands Social Media 30th May 2019: "Famous Rooms". Ever wanted to live inside your favourite TV series? Here's your chance. This new press and poster campaign for Ikea's franchisee in United Arab Emirates is a work of genius. And also incidentally a tribute to the TV-watching habits of UAE residents. Publicis Spain has re-created three famous living rooms, replacing the TV furniture with real items from the Ikea catalogue. Shame on you if you can't name the shows to match the rooms. Clearly UAEers have one up on you!

Adbrands Weekly Update 22nd Nov 2018: Ads of the Week "The Gifts of Christmas". At last, the truth about Christmas. For French mobile giant Orange, Publicis Conseil tells it how it is with an enormously entertaining catalogue of Yuletide catastrophes. And all set to one of those relentlessly jolly American seasonal jingles. Perhaps not everyone's end of the year holidays are quite like this, but we've all been there at some point or other. And we're not sure a new phone at the end of it makes up for all the suffering! Joyeux Noel tout le monde!

Adbrands Social Media 18th Sep 2018: "SwissSkills: Forester". Can it really be true? An ad in which bankers actually make fun of themselves? The Swiss outpost of Publicis has launched a new campaign for the country's biggest bank UBS designed to show that bankers can (sometimes) be good at banking, but probably aren't so good at a lot of other important jobs. It's designed to promote UBS's industrial apprenticeship programme SwissSkills. 

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Free for all users | see full profile for current activities: [see Publicis Group profile for more history]. The French advertising agency took its first steps outside its home country in 1957, opening a New York office. Always one to stay ahead of the competition, Publicis created France's first TV commercial in 1968 (for Boursin cheese), and formed multimedia company SGIP (later Publicis Technology) in 1973. During the 1970s the company set about building up a network of agencies throughout Europe, acquiring Dutch group Intermarco from Philips in 1972 and Switzerland's Farner Group the following year. The two companies were merged as Intermarco/Farner in 1974. In 1978, the group acquired UK agency McCormick (becoming McCormick Intermarco-Farner). Finally all the group's agencies were rebranded as Publicis in 1984. That year Maurice Levy became chairman of the group's Paris flagship, Publicis Conseil. Also in 1988, Publicis's policy of international expansion peaked with a wide-ranging alliance with US agency Foote Cone & Belding, later dissolved. In 1991 Publicis bolstered its UK operation with the buyout of local agency Geers Gross.

In 1995, the agency formed a strategic alliance with newly formed UK agency M&C Saatchi, serving as the international network for the British agency's newly captured British Airways account. The following year, Publicis embarked on a round of global acquisition, buying agencies in Canada, Mexico and Brazil; then in 1997 in Singapore, the Philippines, Indonesia, Korea, Israel, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. In 1998, outposts were established in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Argentina and Chile, bringing the group's total coverage to 64 countries. Most importantly for Publicis, however, it acquired two important US agencies - Hal Riney with billings of some $700m, and the Evans Group, worth some $350m in billings per annum.

In 2000, Publicis finally established a Japanese base by forging a strategic affiliation with Hakuhodo. The Japanese agency turned down Publicis's offer to acquire an equity stake but was more than happy to take on the the local Renault account which transferred out of Dentsu as soon as the Publicis deal was confirmed. (That arrangement was later rescinded following the link-up with Dentsu via Bcom3). The deals carried on into 2001 as Publicis announced the acquisition of Triangle, the UK's biggest independent marketing communications group, and US Hispanic agency Sanchez & Levitan as well as two regional offices belonging to Siboney.

The dismantling of the D'Arcy network in 2003 enhanced Publicis Worldwide's standing in several markets. In Italy the local outpost of Publicis was merged with BGS D'Arcy, while Publicis New York tripled its size with contributions from D'Arcy as well as the former Publicis Chicago office. There were also significant benefits from merger with D'Arcy in China, Taiwan, India, the Philippines and Brazil.

There was a change of senior management at Publicis Worldwide in 2011. Richard Pinder had headed the network since 2006, with the title of chief operating officer rather than CEO, presumably to differentiate him from Publicis Groupe CEO Maurice Levy. In 2009, he took over full responsibility for the advertising network when Olivier Fleurot, previously executive chairman of Publicis Worldwide, transferred to the group's PR and event management divisions. However Pinder too moved on in Spring 2011. In his place, Jean-Yves Naouri, also group chief operating officer, was named as the network's new executive chairman. However, the rising power within the agency has been Arthur Sadoun. He was poached from TBWA in 2006 to become chairman of the main Publicis Conseil agency in Paris, replacing Christophe Lambert who had quit the group to set up an independent agency with creative duo Fred & Farid. Sadoun took over control of the rest of the Publicis network in France in 2009 following the resignation of Philippe Lentschener. Two years later, he was named as worldwide president, reporting to newly appointed executive chairman Jean-Yves Naouri, and was finally appointed as global CEO in 2013.

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