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Publicis

Here’s Legacy’s Take on Ex-PKT CEO Koval’s Arrival

robin-koval_mediumWell, while Publicis Kaplan Thaler appears to be keeping quiet on CEO Robin Koval‘s departure, the folks at Legacy, her new employer, were kind enough to send over their official announce of her joining the anti-smoking nonprofit org behind initiatives such at truth and EX. Koval joins Legacy as president/CEO and will replace Cheryl G. Healton, DrPH at the 14-year-old operation.

In a statement, the new chief exec says, “As a marketing leader, I have been a long-time admirer of Legacy and the behavior changing impact of the truth campaign. To be given the opportunity to evolve Legacy’s counter-marketing efforts for a new generation of youth in an environment of ever-increasing communication complexity is an honor and the opportunity of a lifetime. I see this as a natural and very purpose-driven extension of my many years working for healthcare brands and cause-related programs.”

Prior to joining Legacy, Koval, who’s also penned a handful of best-selling books, spent 16 years in all at what is now Publicis Kaplan Thaler. The exec served as president of Kaplan Thaler Group prior to the merger in summer 2012, which resulted in her being promoted to CEO of the new entity.

Alexandre Mars Out at Publicis?

alexandremars1Well, after hearing rumblings about Alexandre Mars and Publicis parting ways, we made some calls to the holding company, which revealed that the exec is not even in the agency’s global directory at this point. So, one can deduce that the exec, who’s spent the last six years as head of mobile at the holding company as well as CEO of its mobile marketing unit, Phonevalley, is no longer on the roster. Calls to Phonevalley itself were immediately answered by an automated message saying “your call cannot be completed as dialed” so what to make of all this? Is it even in existence at this point? Who knows, but in 2001, Mars founded Phonevalley, which was eventually bought up by Publicis Groupe in 2007 and expanded globally to China, India and Singapore a year later. We’ll let you know if we find out more.

We Hear: Is Publicis Making Further Inroads into India?

lawandkenneth

In a quick shout-out to the motherland, a few sources have been telling us this week that Publicis Groupe is on the verge of announcing the acquisition of majority stakes in Beehive Communications and Law & Kenneth, which are both headquartered in Mumbai but have offices throughout India. Both Beehive and L&W have been operating for a decade give or take and are full-service agencies. From what we’ve been told by tipsters, this is part of Publicis Groupe’s “aggressive investment plan” in India. Perhaps they’re on to something.

Late last year, the holding company acquired digital agency iStrat and brand marketing consultancy MarketGate. Then this past April, Publicis bought up acquired ecommerce technology services provider Neev and launched Razorfish in India, creating a new entity called Neev Razorfish in the process. Are Beehive and L&W next? Well, we’ve been told an announcement could come at any time this week. We’ve put in inquiries to all parties (there is that time difference thing, you know) and are awaiting word. We’ll keep you posted.

Ad Guys Just Talking, Part II: Does the Omnicom-Publicis Merger Make Sense?

And so, the conversation continues between PSFK CEO Piers Fawkes, MEC’s Scott Schwartz and Huge creative director Ross Maupin, who follow up yesterday’s chat about the importance of Advertising Week by discussing the elephant in the room that is the Omnicom/Publicis Groupe merger. Is it good or bad for the industry? Does it make sense? Well, let’s let the lads weigh in. Note: The overall conversation between our participants actually lasted well over 30 minutes, but seeing as it’s all short attention span theater nowadays, we’re offering up quick soundbites for now. Who knows, maybe we’ll have extended versions to come as they had plenty to say, but for now, on with the show.

 

Publicis Kaplan Thaler, CSO Holden Part Ways

Sources familiar with the matter confirm that Jeremy Holden, who’s served as chief strategy officer for the East region at Publicis Kaplan Thaler for nearly two years, is leaving to start his own consultancy business in North Carolina (which he’s done prior to PKT), where he lives. During his time at PKT, Holden worked out of the Raleigh-Durham office, handling duties including brand/digital/social strategy, engagement planning, CRM and analytics for clients ranging from P&G to Citi to Nestle.

Along with Publicis Kaplan Thaler, Holden, a 20-plus year ad vet who’s also a published author, worked for decade on the account planning side at McKinney. No word on immediate plans to replace.

Atlanta Agency ASO Mocks Omnicom/Publicis Merger with Parody Pitch Video

For the last few weeks, all we ever think about during our waking hours is the Omnicom/Publicis merger and how lucky we are to be living in a time where something this momentous happens. Truly, we wake up now with a new sense of purpose and self-worth knowing that two giant holding companies merged to make the biggest holding company.

However, not everyone shares our enthusiasm, chief among them Atlanta-based indie shop Ames Scullin O’Haire. They made the above video to convince us that the merger wasn’t a good thing and doesn’t really benefit anyone beyond the rich people in charge of the agency networks who are now richer. “Bigger isn’t always better” says ASO, who is small and would totally say something like that to besmirch the good name of Publicis-Omnicom Groupe.

Will all of Atlanta’s biggest businesses pull their money from large agencies and invest in ASO after seeing this video? To be honest, yes. Definitely.

Big Spaceship Alum Hirsch’s Move to Publicis Kaplan Thaler Now Official

Nearly a month to the day that we reported that Joshua Hirsch was leaving Big Spaceship after 11 years of service to possibly assume a senior-level technology post at Publicis Kaplan Thaler in mid-August, the latter agency has finally made it official. Like clockwork. Unfortunately, Hirsch won’t be bringing his catchy “Minister of Technology” title he held at BS with him to PKT, but instead joins the latter agency in the more traditional role of EVP/chief technology officer. As you’d expect, he’ll be leading Publicis Kaplan Thaler’s technology and innovation practice out of the agency’s New York HQ.

Hirsch’s new boss, PKT CEO Robin Koval, says in a statement, “Today, technology informs the creative process as never before, and Joshua will help provide our clients with an unprecedented level of innovation. Joshua is a proven leader with a significant track record of developing impressive front-edge solutions, and we couldn’t be more pleased to have him join us. We expect to do truly innovative and industry-leading work together – work that continues to lead the change for our clients.”

As previously mentioned, Hirsch spent well over a decade at DUMBO-based Big Spaceship, beginning as the digital shop’s sole coder before eventually moving up to partner and dubbing himself, yes, “Minister of Technology.” Frankly, we miss the hair.

IPG Top Brass Weighs in on Publicis-Omnicom Alliance

And so it continues with the industry reaction to Publicom Omnicis Prime or whatever the new entity is called nowadays. We’ve just obtained separate memos to staff sent this morning from IPG chairman/CEO Michael Roth and IPG Mediabrands CEO Matt Seiler regarding their competitors’ merger. The former prefaces his lengthy note with the headline “Too Big to Fail?” while the latter offers a few reasons why IPG is dandy along with a little hint of some good news to come very soon on the UM front. We’ll just leave you with this Seiler tidbit below and let you read Roth’s perspective after the jump.

Says the Mediabrands chief exec, “Later today, we will announce another new business win, this time for UM.  In the words of the newest IPG Mediabrands client, ‘scale matters, up to a point’…IPGMB is ‘big enough’  & then it’s about tailored service, which is where you rise above the rest.…”I think that says it all.” Read on what Roth has to say including IPG’s thoughts on major M&A efforts. We say it’s an interesting read.

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What Does the Publicis/Omnicom Merger Mean for the Industry?

As one might imagine, the announcement (and Vine video) of the biggest merger in advertising history is causing quite a reaction from those in the industry. Above, Keith Hunt, managing partner of M&A consulting firm Results International, hypothesizes about the implications the newly formed Publicis Omnicom Group will have.

As Hunt notes, the merger means the company will be able to buy media very cheaply, leapfrogging WPP in the process. But, Hunt wonders, how far can you push down prices? At one point do vendors draw the line?

Also, Hunt says, there’s the issue of who’s in charge. Co-chief execs, John Wren (Omnicom) and Maurice Levy (Publicis)  are elder statesmen. Levy, the older of the two at 71, is now on the hot seat in terms of naming a successor, that is, if the balance of power between Publicis and Omnicom remains a priority. As WPP’s Martin Sorrell said in an interview today, “It’s a nil-premium merger — effectively a takeover of Publicis by Omnicom [without exchange of money].”

Finally, says Hunt, there’s the matter of positioning. It benefits the new company to frame the merger as one that hinges around new technologies and emerging markets, allowing Publicis Omnicom Group to compete against tech companies outside advertising agencies like Adobe. “Exciting times,” he adds before staring into the camera wistfully. It’s only the beginning.

Check out Wren and Levy bonding after the jump.

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Publicis, Omnicom Group Merge to Become World’s Biggest Advertising Company

In a somewhat surprising weekend move that’s now been broadcast everywhere, French advertising network Publicis and New York-based Omnicom Group announced today that they are merging, supplanting London’s WPP to become to world’s largest advertising firm.

The news comes as a bit of a shock, especially considering the announcement was made on a summer weekend. Reports of merger negotiations first happened on Friday afternoon, followed by more concrete details on the merger coming out yesterday via a report from Bloomberg. The newly christened Publicis Omnicom Group will be led by Omnicom CEO John Wren and Publicis CEO Maurice Levy, who will acts as co-chief executives.

The merger is sending shockwaves throughout the industry, with reaction to news quite mixed. While many agree that shareholders will benefit from the news, looming doubts remain about how the new company will strike a balance of power with its bases split between continents, as well as how Publicis Omnicom Group will go about solving the many client conflicts as competing brands (Coca-Cola and Pepsi, McDonald’s and Taco Bell) are brought under one roof.

Omnicom (whose properties include BBDO, DDB, and TBWA) and Publicis (whose properties include Leo Burnett, DigitasLBi, Saatchi & Saatchi and media giant Starcom) have a combined annual revenue of $23 billion. We’ve heard that Levy has sent out a network-wide email about the merger.

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