Publicis Prepares for ‘Internet at Scale’

NEW YORK The Internet’s getting bigger every day. The outsized valuations paid by Google and Yahoo! point to the Web being dominated by a few large-scale ad systems.

It is this vision of the future landscape that led to the building of Prodigious, a production company spun out of Digitas to handle the creation of banner ads, e-mails and parts of Web sites for Publicis Groupe shops and other agencies. It is working with General Motors’ shops, including Campbell-Ewald, Digitas and Modernista!.

“What we’re trying to do is get ready to do the Internet at scale,” said Digitas CEO David Kenny, who is directing Publicis’ digital strategy. “If you have a big advertiser like a Procter and GM, they have to produce thousands of creative assets. You need to be able to do that in a way that scales. If you don’t do all the versions, you’re no better off than you were with television.”

Publicis has brought on Corey Torrence as president of Prodigious, reporting to Kenny. Torrence joined Digitas in November 2006 from Invoke Solutions, where he was CEO. The company begins with 65 employees, and will contract out production work to cheap-labor locales abroad like Ukraine, China, Costa Rica and India.

“We’re going to run out of talent before we run out of anything,” Kenny said.

Prodigious will operate as part of Digitas Inc., the parent company of the Digitas agency and Modem Media.

By the end of the year, Torrence anticipates Prodigious will have over 100 employees, with thousands of producers in low-cost markets like the Czech Republic, Hungary and Brazil.

We have to structure ourselves in a different way so we have a much more scalable model,” said Torrence.