When Renetta McCann left her position as CEO of Starcom MediaVest Group, to take a sabbatical there was speculation as to why. Some thought she was leaving to campaign for Barack Obama (she publicly denied those claims).
Now the speculation is over. AdAge has reported that McCann will join Managing Partners David Kenny, former CEO of Digitas and Jack Klues, chairman of Starcom MediaVest in their new venture.
That new venture and the reason for this family reunion is VivaKi (yeah, I know). This is Publicis Groupe’s new effort to master the digital-media world. As per Adage, “VivaKi will aim to combine the market muscle and resources of Starcom, MediaVest, Zenith Optimedia and Digitas, to create a more powerful media negotiator and fund new marketing technologies.” McCann will be in charge of talent development for Vivaki; and Curt Hecht, the chief digital officer of Starcom MediaVest and GM Planworks, will head the VivaKi Nerve Center.
The idea behind the Nerve Center is initially to “tap into about 30 full-timers situated within Publicis Groupe agencies around the world, will be the data analytics hub of the operation, pooling consumer and media data from all the agencies and developing new ways of analyzing and using it. It’ll also develop new tools, such as the the Audience on Demand Network, announced this morning, that claims to be an open-source solution allowing Publicis Groupe clients a single point of access to plan and buy a single campaign across Microsoft, Google, Yahoo and AOL”.
VivaKi expects to entice talent to Publicis Groupe, by offering “new working arrangements for potential employees.” Whatever that means.
Klue says, “We tell our clients to see consumers as people with different needs and habits, but we don’t always work that way ourselves. The same salary and bonus package doesn’t necessarily fit for all 5,000 people in an agency.” Does that mean that people will finally be compensated according to the value they add and not just the title they hold? Perish the thought…