It’s been a busy morning on the Publicis Groupe front to say the least. Following the big news that Maurice Levy & company was merging Digitas with LBi (more on that in a minute), NYC-based digital agency Rokkan, which Publicis Groupe acquired back in December, has announced that it’s opening its doors in both Chicago and Los Angeles.
No word yet on what staff count is or specific clients that each office is catering to, but along with the U.S. expansion, Rokkan has welcomed back Brian Carley to serve as its first ECD. Carley rejoins Rokkan after spending the last two years as SVP/ECD at Saatchi & Saatchi NY, where he spearheaded work for clients including Trident, General Mills and P&G. Now back at Rokkan, where he served as creative director during his first tour of duty, Carley will lead creative across the network for a roster including JetBlue, Caesars, Stoli, Sharp and Chipotle.
Anyways, back to LBi. Judging from today’s news, it appears tipsters were on to something regarding a merger, though it appears they were alluding to something albeit on a more local (NY) level. As recently as last Friday, we were getting tips like this: “Announcement is coming Feb 28th at Marquee NYC of the new agency rebrand. Unfortunately [there] is no rebrand. LBi NY is assuming the name of Mr Youth and LBi NY as you know it won’t exist anymore. CEO will be MRY’s Matt Britton and CCO will be Cedric Devitt, who will also see the other American offices. Judith Carr will be the office’s president. And since Razorfish and Digitas fall under Publicis like the new Mr Youth does, rumor has it that the new Mr Youth will be partnering with Digitas on future business.”
We’ve brought this issue up in the past but once again, LBi has yet to respond to our inquiries to clarify things. Hopefully by the time this alleged bash at Marquee goes down (we await our invite), this thing will have sorted itself out and our headache will have gone away. In much clearer news, though, you’ve probably read that Digitas and LBi (which MRY is housed under) have merged to form DigitasLBi, a global network housing 5,700 staffers in 25 countries that will be led by current LBi chief exec, Luke Taylor. Meanwhile, Colin Kinsella, the chief executive of Digitas North America, will continue in his role. AdAge has more on the story here.