Publicis Groupe (France)

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Publicis Groupe has forced its way into the top ranks of the world's leading marketing organisations through a string of canny and transformational acquisitions. Having learned painful lessons from a disastrous alliance with FCB during the 1990s, CEO Maurice Levy's acquisition of Saatchi & Saatchi in 2000 proved far more harmonious. Even more impressive was the agreed takeover of Leo Burnett two years later. Other jewels in the Publicis crown include multi-hub creative networks Bartle Bogle Hegarty, wholly owned since 2012, and Fallon. After a shaky start, Publicis has shown itself to be a worthy rival to established giants WPP and Omnicom. The group is especially strong in digital marketing. It acquired US-based Digitas in 2006, and broadened that network's footprint significantly. A deal to acquire rival digital agency Razorfish in 2009 allowed Publicis to overtake Interpublic as the world's third largest marketing services group. A series of further small and medium-sized acquisitions followed between 2010 and 2012, capped in 2013 by what was intended to be CEO Maurice Levy's crowning glory, a transformational deal whereby Publicis and larger rival Omnicom would merge to create the world's #1 marketing services giant. Despite securing most regulatory approvals, the deal eventually foundered on disagreements over the final structure of a combined group and was called off in May 2014. Instead, Levy unveiled a new deal a few months later with an agreement to acquire digital group Sapient for $3.7bn. However, the group's performance has remained under-par since the collapse of that Omincom deal, prompting a mammoth structural reorganisation during 2016. Now it falls to Levy's successor as CEO, former creative chief Arthur Sadoun, to restore Publicis to solid growth.

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Who are the competitors of Publicis Groupe? See ranking of Leading Global Marketing Groups 

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Adbrands Company Profiles provide a detailed analysis of the history and current operations of leading advertisers, agencies and brands worldwide, and include a critical summary which identifies key strengths and weaknesses. Adbrands Account Assignments tracks account management for the world's leading brands and companies, including details of which advertising agency handles which accounts in which countries for major markets. See also:

Publicis Worldwide
Leo Burnett
Saatchi & Saatchi
Starcom MediaVest
Publicis Healthcare
Beacon Communications

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Recent stories from Adbrands Weekly Update:

Adbrands Weekly Update 19th Oct 2017: Publicis Groupe continues to improve after last year's worrying slump. Reported figures slipped to €2.26bn as a result of exchange rates, but the organic increase ex-currency ex-M&A was 1.2%. That's nowhere near Omnicom, but a marked improvement on Publicis's own last six sets of results. It lifted the YTD figure into positive territory at a modest 0.3%. In the latest quarter, there was negative growth in Europe and Asia Pacific (down 1.5% and 3.1% respectively) but that was offset by a strong rebound in North America, up 3.0%.

Adbrands Weekly Update 12th October 2017: Another week, another set of changes at Publicis Groupe. All the group's data analytics resources are to be combined in a new unit under the name Publicis Spine, led by Starcom president Lisa Donohue. This will become the group's primary engine for analysing consumer data that has either been collected inhouse or acquired from third-party sources. It will also house PeopleCloud, a platform to identify "sources of client growth". Donohue is being replaced at Starcom by John Sheehy, previously president of global clients at Publicis Media. At the same time, the group is moving global network DigitasLBi out of digital division Publicis.Sapient and into Publicis Media. Michael Kahn will take over as global president of DigitasLBi, replacing Nigel Vaz, who remains CEO of Publicis.Sapient in the EMEA and Asia Pacific regions.

Adbrands Weekly Update 28th Sep 2017: An analyst at French investment bank Natixis has identified WPP and Publicis as potential takeover targets because of recent steep falls in their market value. Although he suggests that merger with an existing group is one possibility, a more likely option would be an approach from one of the management consultancies currently pushing into the marketing sector. Accenture, in particular, is a "credible buyer", he wrote in a note to investors. Its market capitalisation of over $90bn is more than five times that of Publicis and almost four times WPP, making any potential deal reasonably affordable.

Adbrands Weekly Update 31st Aug 2017: With all the groups' results in, final scorecard for organic/LFL growth/decline for 2Q is as follows: Omnicom +3.5%, Publicis +0.8%, Interpublic +0.4%, WPP revenues -0.8%, Havas -0.9%, WPP net sales -1.7%, Dentsu -4.8%. Much smaller MDC scored +11.7%.

Adbrands Weekly Update 20th Jul 2017: "Encouraging" is how new Publicis Groupe CEO Arthur Sadoun described his first set of results for 2Q and the half year. Organic growth was at least positive for the first time in three quarters, with a lift of 0.8% for the quarter to E2.5bn. (The reported gain including the benefits of currencies and acquisitions was 2.2%). However, it wasn't enough to offset the poor performance from 1Q, leaving the group still in the red for the first six months of 2017 at negative 0.2%. North America - which accounts for more than half of revenues - remains a problem, with organic growth of just 0.2% for 2Q, compared to a comfortable 3.2% in Europe and 2.8% in Latin America. Asia Pacific is still strongly negative at -3.3%. Publicis doesn't report quarterly profits, but income for the half year net was E387m, up 1.6% on the year-ago.

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