Paris-based Publicis Groupe is one of the four largest ad agencies in the world, with a portfolio of subsidiary brands that includes Leo Burnett Worldwide and Saatchi & Saatchi, among many others. In late 2006, the firm also bought online ad agency Digitas. Reuters is reporting that Publicis and Google are “combining their expertise to expand in the fast-growing digital advertising market . . . [and that] Google would exchange its technological know-how for Publicis’s analytical and media planning expertise.”
There were no specifics beyond that. But in an advertising market that is in a state of upheaval, this relationship with Google may be part of an effort to establish enhanced “digital credibility” for Publicis and gain some sort of perceived advantage for clients vs. its rivals (WPP, Omnicom, Interpublic).
Publicis Chairman Maurice Levy is quoted in the Reuters article saying, “We are telling the market we are being very serious about digital advertising.”
It’s no secret that Google has been courting larger brand advertising clients, and the relationship with Publicis may help Google (or a future DoubleClick division of Google) develop approaches and/or products that have greater brand marketer appeal.
Beyond the broad statements, PR, and good will, we’ll have to wait and see what emerges publicly. Here’s a bit more information from the Wall Street Journal. Postscript: Some additional information has emerged in this AdAge article:
[An] internal memo said: “Google has established a dedicated global account team for Publicis Groupe, the first of its kind with a global advertising group.”
Mr. Levy said the exchange of talent will start “pretty soon.”
“For a few months or a year, people from Publicis Groupe [companies] will be working at Google, and people from Google will be working at some of our companies,” he said.
In addition to the exchange of talent and using Google staff and materials for training programs, the two companies will work together on new products, platforms and tools.
“There are no new products yet, but we’re working on sharing and exchanging information so we at Publicis shape better tools for the industry,” he said
There’s also more discussion at Techmeme.