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Posts Tagged ‘Maurice Levy’

Publicis Groupe’s Maurice Lévy Hacks YouTube’s Functionality in This Year’s Holiday Greeting

Snow flurries are starting. Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer is on network TV. Eggnog is once again a thing. And Publicis Groupe’s CEO Maurice Lévy is back with another holiday greeting. Christmas is coming, you guys!

Now, the press release we got about this is a little, well, apologetic. “His speech has been a little on the long side in the past,” it admits. “So, this year he made a superhuman effort to keep it short and to allow viewers to enjoy this video on their own terms.” What the hell does the mean? Well, I don’t want to spoil too much of the surprise, but if you watch it on YouTube, your natural tendencies to skip forward, pause, or play with the volume of the video will be greatly rewarded with disapproval from Lévy. He knows what you did. You may not listen to the man in charge’s talk, but you can play with the way it’s delivered.

Unfortunately, Digitas France has not provided an embeddable version of  the greeting, no doubt because YouTube magic can only go so far (unlike Christmas magic). However, you can still link to it from the above video. Credits after the jump.

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VivaKi to Spin Off into Separate Business Unit

Don’t worry, Publicis Groupe’s four-year-old VivaKi division, which includes Digitas, Razorfish, Starcom MediaVest Group ZenithOptimedia and most recently LBi, will remain within the fold but not so attached at the hip. The world’s third-largest agency holding company has announced that VivaKi will become a separate business unit, still reporting to Publicis Groupe boss Maurice Levy, but one that will now be opened to all PG agencies, in turn extending the offerings of the Nerve Center, including AOD and the Pool, to clients of Publicis Groupe and ultimately to clients outside of the Groupe.

Says Levy in a statement, “The Nerve Center has been one of the most successful accomplishments of VivaKi. Still the only operation of its kind in our industry, it brings strategic innovations to life by leveraging the collective influence of its agencies. It allows us to create world class offerings in the Center rather than building duplicate capabilities inside each agency.  Efficient innovation is its hallmark.  All CEOs and leaders will immediately engage VivaKi to leverage its products and services, and to create blueprints for new tools and technologies that will make us stronger, more efficient and more imaginative partners to our clients.”

As far as leadership goes, VivaKi CEO Jack Klues is phasing out of his position at the agency after 35 years as he plans to retire at the end of this year (can’t blame him), though he will stay on through the first half of 2013 to ease the transition. The new VivaKi unit’s executive will consist of SMG CEO Laura Desmond, Razorfish CEO Bob Lord, current VivaKi CFO Frank Voris and ZenithOptimedia’s chief exec, Steve King.

Publicis Groupe Buys Up LBi

The tips have come in fast and furious over the last couple of hours including this: “Publicis Groupe S.A. and LBi International N.V. Agreement on Intended Recommended Public Cash Offer.” Well, now according to Reuters, it is indeed true as the holding company has agreed to acquire Dutch ad agency LBI International NV in a deal valued at nearly $540 million. While not quite the $600 million figure some predicted a few months ago, Publicis Groupe’s latest purchase does near the price that WPP paid for AKQA.

In a statement, Publicis Groupe chairman/CEO Maurice Levy says, “The acquisition of LBi is another step forward in further strengthening our digital operations. Within the global advertising landscape, LBi is a well known partner for extraordinary digital customer experiences, based on a blend of creativity and expertise in technology, strategy and social media. The integration of LBi will further enhance our capabilities and, through a wider pool of resources and talent, help deliver innovative and best-in-class services to our clients, which is our relentless focus. Furthermore, this acquisition has a positive impact on our EPS in the first year post acquisition.”

According to the official announce, LBi’s management/supervisory board was basically in full support of the acquisition, saying the “transaction is in the best interests of the company and its stakeholders including its clients, shareholders, partners and employees.”

Thursday Morning Stir

-Google has its eyes set on Siri as it launches a voice search app on iOS. link

-Fold7 designed a new site for British clothing label, Sunspel. link

-Lil Buck helps ring in Gap’s denim fall collection (above).

-Publicis Group’s VivaKi unit has teamed up with comScore to launch an viewability metric. link

-Speaking of Publicis, the holding company’s boss Maurice Levy has reportedly rekindled his feud with Sir Martin Sorrell over the IPG rumors. link

-Ryan Lochte: Now an advocate for kids peeing in the pool. link


Publicis Groupe Takes Full Ownership of BBH

Tis a busy post-July 4th for Publicis Groupe as Maurice Levy and his France-based holding company have now acquired the remaining 51 percent stake from BBH founders Nigel Bogle and Sir John Hegarty as well as 100 percent of the shares of Brazilian agency Neogama/BBH.

Publicis Groupe originally acquired a 49 percent stake in BBH 10 years ago when it bought up Bcom3. Regarding the full sale of his 30-year-old agency, which just racked up 21 Cannes Lions this year, BBH’s Bogle says in a statement, “The decision was very clear. We were looking for an opportunity that would ensure that our agency maintained a high degree of autonomy and could continue to abide by the values characterized by the black sheep. The key point for us was the preservation of our operational independence in managing the BBH brand, which has produced almost uninterrupted growth for thirty years. The new ownership not only ensures our autonomy, but brings us considerable advantages through Publicis Groupe’s resources and global infrastructure.”

As a result of the transaction, Hegarty will now pass the baton to Neogama founder Alexandre Gama, who will take over as worldwide CCO. In addition, 30-year BBH vet Simon Sherwood will now assume the role of group chairman, Gwyn Jones, who joined the agency in 1987, becomes group CEO while Zag chief exec Neil Munn will take on the dual role of group chief operating officer. As for Hegarty and Bogle, the founding pair will serve on the Publicis Groupe management board (along with Levy, Sherwood, Jean-Yves Naouri, Jean-Michel Etienne and ZenithOptimedia global CEO Steve King), focusing on client business and mentoring of management. Gwyn Jones, meanwhile, will oversee day-to-day operations for BBH’s global management team.

Digitas/Razorfish Health Now Housed Under PHCG Umbrella

We’re not sure if this is an evolution of the “shared centers of excellence” structure that Digitas/Razorfish Health were plotting after the last round of layoffs this summer, but whatever the case, the agencies have now aligned with Publicis Healthcare Communications Group as part of a revamp of Publicis Groupe’s healthcare offering.

With this move, Digitas and Razorfish Health will join a PHCG roster that currently includes Saatchi & Saatchi Health, Publicis Life Brands, Publicis Healthware International, Publicis Touchpoint Solutions, and Publicis Medical Education Group. Leadership-wise, while Digitas/Razorfish Health CEO is calling it quits by year’s end, global co-presidents Michael du Toit and Alexandra von Plato will remain on board and report to PHCG president/CEO Nick Colucci. In a statement, Publicis Groupe COO Jean-Yves Naouri, who’s been mentioned over and over as Maurice Levy‘s eventual successor and oversees PHCG, says, “This move will create patterns of cross-fertilization, ensuring that we have the sharpest and best integrated skills on the market.”

The Philly-based Health units’ client roster currently includes J&J, Prizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Monday Morning Stir (Totally NSFW Edition)

-Publicis chief Maurice Levy is training more than one successor. link

-As expected, RIM makes some major cuts. link

-Bi-coastal shop IdeaWork Studio takes at a stab at redesigning the web presence of Tropicana (not the one you’re thinking of). link

-Spotify racked up 70,000 U.S. subscribers in its first week. link

-Skittles (nor its agencies) had nothing to do with what has to be our favorite unauthorized ad for the brand (above-NSFW). link



We Hear: Publicis Buys Rosetta?

We’ve received a few tips over the past hour or so that Publicis has acquired Rosetta, which, if it’s the Rosetta we’re thinking of, is the Princeton, NJ-based operation that’s billed itself as “the largest independent interactive agency in the U.S.” for quite some time now. We’ve reached out to folks on both sides but have yet to hear back. Still, multiple tips from different sources in such a short window of time has us intrigued. Hopefully we’ll hear a yea or nay by day’s end but if true, at least Publicis is taking a breather from conquering Brazil for a minute.

But considering the holding company’s taste for digital agency investment as of late, such an acquisition doesn’t seem too far-fetched (maybe they’re after Rosetta’s healthcare practice?).

Update: Well, our spies were right as usual. Publicis has acquired Rosetta (AdAge says for $575 million), which will operate as a standalone unit within Publicis Groupe and continue to be led by its founder and CEO Chris Kuenne. Says PG chairman/CEO Maurice Levy in a statement, “The acquisition of Rosetta is a key next step in our strategy to become the ‘human, all digital agency group.’ With Rosetta, we aim to enrich our digital knowledge, our capabilities in technology, marketing consulting, and digital strategy, and the creativity we offer to clients and advertisers.”


Friday Morning Stir

-The Kardashian onslaught continues with a new T-Mobile Valentine’s’ promo from Supercool Creative starring Khloe (above).

-Traffiq appointed Bridget Bidlack as VP, product management.

-Maurice Levy says everything’s peachy at Publicis Groupe. link

-Nokia cozies up to Windows Phone 7. link

-Richard Copping joined O&M Asia Pacific as a regional CD. link

What Does the Future of Advertising Look Like? Danielle Sacks Fills Us In

Today, Fast Company‘s Danielle Sacks, who we deduce is either Alex Bogusky‘s best friend or arch-nemesis, wrote a tome called “The Future of Advertising,” which claims that the ad industry is on the cusp of its first creative revolution since the days when Don Draper types puffed cigs and drank the days away.

To complete her opus, Sacks interviewed no less than 75 people in the industry, grabbing quotes from notables such as Publicis’ Maurice Lévy, McCann’s Nick Brien and IPG’s Michael Roth. What does the future look like? Rather than shake the 8-ball, we turned the spotlight onto Sacks herself to gain her insight from the rather extensive piece. To tease things a bit, Sacks tells us about agency progress, saying, “The economic model of agencies is one of the biggest prohibitors in agencies evolving. Agencies know they need to collaborate, but in many cases separate P&L’s mean different disciplines within an agency or holding company are built to compete against each other, rather than share and cooperate. Also, given that most of the industry is consolidated in behemoth public holding companies, most CEO’s who want to invest in R&D and change their internal structures are battling against the short-sighted nature of being part of a public company.”

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