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Publicis

Trouble Brewing in the Publicis Omnicom Camp

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Over the weekend you may have heard of some newfound uncertainty regarding the world’s soon-to-be-biggest agency: the bastard child of Publicis and Omnicom.

Let’s review the reports, shall we?

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ROKKAN Hires from R/GA and MRY, Launches New Media Offering

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Publicis Groupe’s ROKKAN has officially launched its new media planning/buying offering, hiring three industry vets in the process:

  • Sean Miller, who will lead the entire strategy department in the SVP role, most recently worked in the strategy/planning department at R/GA New York.
  • Lindsay Williams will lead the offering as VP of media and analytics. She joins the agency from Estee Lauder, where she was global brand director; prior to that role she worked with several clients at Razorfish.
  • Joe Meanor will serve as VP of client partnership. He joins ROKKAN from MRY, where he worked as group director.

CEO/managing partner John Noe explains the offering’s purpose:

“Media is actually something we’ve been doing for several of our clients over the last couple of years, albeit in a bit of an ad-hoc fashion.”

As client requests for paid services increased, Noe and team decided to launch the new offering, which is less an independent unit than a “natural progression” of the agency’s existing services.

Lowe Campbell Ewald Adds Pair of Creatives to NY Office

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The New York offices of Lowe Campbell Ewald have just welcomed two new creatives to its team. Melissa Goliczewski will be joining on as senior copywriter, while Erica Turner will serve as senior art director. Both Goliczewski and Turner join the agency from Publicis Kaplan Thaler and will be working together on the Unilver account.

Melissa Goliczewski worked as a copywriter at agencies including MRM Worldwide Interactive, McCann Erickson, Source Communications and DeVito/Verdi prior to her nearly six year stint at Publicis Kaplan Thaler. She has worked with clients including Maybelline, L’Oreal, Intel, US Army and Johnson & Johnson, and her work has been recognized by Cannes, Midas and AME.

Prior to Publicis Kaplan Thaler, Erica Turner spent over 5 years as a senior art director at Gotham Inc, where she “launched global print, television, in-store, and digital campaigns for Maybelline New York Cosmetics, from concept to production.” In the past few years she has worked with clients including Softsheen-Carson,  Burger King, Samsung and the Boys and Girls Club.

Publicis Kaplan Thaler Makes Some Cuts

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We’ve received the tips and now there’s some confirmation about cuts at New York-based Publicis Kaplan Thaler. Here’s a statement from the agency: “As our industry continues to transform and our clients’ needs change, we sometimes need to make adjustments to our staffing to be at the forefront of these changes. Less than 2% of our staff is affected by these changes.” From what we hear, among those affected at PKT, which has worked with an array of clients ranging from Wendy’s and Sleepy’s to Bristol-Myers Squibb and L’Oreal Paris over the years, include VP/creative technology director, Anton Roolaart, who has spent the last four years at the agency serving as developer, sound engineer and composer among other duties.

Publicis Kaplan Thaler Creates First-Ever National Ad for Edmunds.com

Publicis Kaplan Thaler created the first ever TV spot for car shopping destination Edmunds.com to receive a national release. The spot, “Edmunds Price Promise,” debuted on Christmas Day during NBA programming on ABC and ESPN and “will remain in regular rotation on several networks through at least the next three months.”

“Edmunds Price Promise” highlights the price promise Edmunds offers its customers, “an instant, locked-in price that the dealer will honor,” while positioning Edmunds employees as “car people” — quite literally. While the humor falls flat, the national campaign will likely bring the company newfound exposure and the Edmunds Price Promise should be a selling point with its audience.

Maurice Lévy Returns, Now with Balloons in Tow, for Publicis Groupe’s 2014 Greeting

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Maurice Lévy is back this year for the new Publicis Groupe New Year’s greeting. After toying with YouTube’s functionality last year,  the holding company, with the aid of their DigitasLBi France unit, has once again found a new way to make their greeting interactive.


This year, Publicis built their message around the theme of #TheMoretheMerrier in honor of their expected merger with Omnicom. To accomplish this, they’ve made it so “The more people that join in during the video, the merrier it will become.” So, what does that mean exactly? Well, if you watch the video alone, nothing special happens. But if you watch with a friend, Maurice Lévy will deliver his speech in a confetti storm. Adding more people to the mix will result in “gospel singers, cheerleaders, Chinese dragons and a few other surprises.” It’s a pretty cool concept, managing to be interactive in an intriguing new way.

 

To accomplish this, Publicis’ tech team developed “a fancy facial detection algorithm that allows a webcam to count how many people are actually watching the video together.” The facial recognition software was conceived by “a 21 year old Russian math genius” working for DigitasLBi France. The software is the “first of its kind to detect up to ten faces simultaneously” while the video plays. “The More the Merrier” is the first video to count the number of viewers, rather than views, on YouTube. That’s a lot of technological firsts for a New Year’s greeting. By the way, in case you were wondering, it takes 1,487 balloons to cover Maurice Lévy.

Credits after the jump. Read more

Publicis Groupe Forms New ‘Mega Region’

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We can’t say that the term “mega region” is embedded in our lexicon, but that’s what they’re calling Publicis North America, the new entity that combines Publicis USA and Publicis Canada to create the largest Publicis Groupe region outside of the holding company’s hub in France.

Eleven-year Publicis vet and Publicis USA boss Susan Gianinno has now assumed the role of chairman of the newly expanded region, focusing on global/regional clients and “priority global initiatives” while working in tandem with recently appointed Publicis Worldwide CEO, Arthur Sadoun. Along with her new chairman role, Gianinno will also be heading to Harvard next for a one-year fellowship. Meanwhile, Andrew Bruce, who has spent the last 15 years at Publicis Canada, where he most recently served as president/CEO, will now take on the CEO post of the newly formed Publicis North America.

Regarding the new moves, Publicis Groupe chief Maurice Levy says in a statement, “This is a wonderful and very prestigious appointment for Susan and for us. I am personally very proud of her and expect that she will bring even more to our people and clients during, and after, this experience. I am sure that under this new team leadership, Susan and Andrew, this new mega region will generate great work for our clients and formidable growth.”

 

Saatchi Health, Wellness to Operate Under One Name, Add Heartbeat Ideas to the Fold

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Well, here’s the “interesting news” that we briefly alluded to last week in our post regarding Ned Russell‘s move up the Publicis Healthcare ladder. First off, 15-year-old, bi-coastal, healthcare-focused digital agency Heartbeat Ideas, which boasts 90 staffers and works with notable pharma clients including Novartis, Pfizer and Sanofi, has aligned with the Saatchi & Saatchi healthcare roster. Now, New York-based Saatchi & Saatchi Health and Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness will operate as one entity under the latter name while Heartbeat will now carry the somewhat long-winded name  of “Heartbeat Ideas, a member of Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness” and “Heartbeat West, a member of Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness.” The combined agencies will still be housed under the Publicis Healthcare Communications Group umbrella.

As far as leadership goes, Heartbeat founder/CEO Bill Drummy will remain at the helm at Heartbeat while joining the leadership team at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness that also co-managing directors Kathy Delaney (who also retains her role as global CCO at PHCG) and JD Cassidy. In a statement, Drummy says, “For fifteen years, we’ve been on a mission to bring a more effective, digitally-forward approach to healthcare marketing.  By becoming a member of Publicis Groupe and Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness, we now have the opportunity to be a critical ingredient in an entirely new agency formulation for healthcare clients, one that is thoughtfully designed to turn the new realities of the rapidly changing healthcare marketplace to our clients’ advantage.”

On another note, while folks on the Spy line have mentioned  staffing adjustments at S&S Health/Wellness a few times over the past week, we’ve been told otherwise by the PHCG camp. We’ll keep you posted if we hear of any more developments. Update: Sources in the know tell us that there are “some people” who have left the organization, but not because of downsizing and Saatchi Saatchi Wellness is currently hiring.

Publicis Officially Acquires Beehive

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Well, at least one-half of our post from last week has panned out as Publicis Groupe has officially announced the acquisition of Mumbai-based integrated agency, Beehive Communications. The new entity will be rebranded as, you guessed it, Publicis Beehive and will continue to operate under the director of Beehive founder/CEO Sanjit Shastri, who along with the rest of the leadership team will report to Nakul Chopra, CEO/South Asia for Publicis Worldwide.  In a statement, Publicis Groupe COO Jean-Yves Naouri says, “We are making significant strides toward achieving our goals in India. By adding Beehive to the Publicis network, we will be able to capitalise on a great pool of talent and market potential, as well as strengthen the unparalleled services we provide to our clients.”

The ten-year-old Beehive, which also has a presence in Delhi and Bangalore, houses over 130 employees and is focused on media, digital, reputation management, research and brand activation. Among the 50 or so clients that Beehive currently works with are General Motors, Korea Tourism and Malaysia Tourism. As for fellow Mumbai-based agency Law & Kenneth, which we heard is also being eyed by Publicis Groupe, there’s no word yet on any acquisition moves, but we’ll keep you posted.

Saatchi Wellness MD Russell Moves Up to EVP Post at PHCG

nedrussellWe received a couple of interesting tidbits on the Spy line over the weekend regarding Publicis Healthcare Communications Group, specifically its Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness and Saatchi Health Communications units, which serve as consumer and professional agency, respectively. What we can confirm for now is that Ned Russell, who’s spent the last four-and-a-half years as group managing director of Saatchi Wellness and helped manage Saatchi Health along the way, has moved up to the role of EVP, global development & Publicis Sanofi Lab.

In his new role, Russell will work out of the Publicis Healthcare New York office and serve as the chief liaison and mediator between Publicis Groupe agencies and French pharma giant Sanofi, which we’ve been told is one of the former’s largest clients. Russell, who will begin with a focus in the U.S for the drug maker, will report to Laurence Meyer, the global head of Sanofi at Publicis Groupe in Paris. Prior to Saatchi Wellness, the newly minted EVP spent a few years in a similar role at Arnold and held a worldwide account director position at DDB early on.

As for the Saatchi Health and Wellness divisions, we’ve been hearing a few murmurs but have been told that there will be an “interesting announcement next week” regarding these agencies. Well, guess we’ll have to stay tuned.

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