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Publicis Groupe Consolidates Its Media Agencies Into 4 Global Brands

Aims to simplify the holding company's structure

Big changes are happening at Publicis. Photo: Getty Images

A few short months after Publicis Groupe chairman and CEO Maurice Lévy announced a massive plan to restructure its entire network, the holding company unveiled today a plan for its media arm, Publicis Media, which aims to simplify its business. Under the previous restructuring plan, Publicis broke its agencies into four subgroups including Publicis Communications, Publicis Media, Publicis Sapient and Publicis Healthcare.

The Publicis Media group, led by Steve King, previously included Starcom Mediavest, ZenithOptimedia, VivaKi, Performics, MRY and Moxie. Moving forward, the group's six global agencies will be consolidated into four, with each agency being led by a global brand president. Starcom, led by Lisa Donohue, and Zenith, led by Vittorio Bonori, will operate as two separate agencies. Mediavest and Spark, under Brian Terkelsen, will combine to form the third and Optimedia and Blue 449, led by Andras Vigh, will comprise the fourth.

Publicis' programmatic arm VivaKi will remain part of the Publicis Media group, with its capabilities being folded into the overall hub, while "Performics will remain Publicis Media's global performance marketing brand and scale across all agency brands," according to the statement. No word on where Moxie and MRY will fit into the structure, as they were both mentioned in the initial Publicis Groupe restructure. 

The move to simplify Publicis' media arm comes just in time for the TV upfront. King told The Wall Street Journal that the new structure will help "leverage our scale."

"We are driven to get to the future first. Publicis Media is a fresh opportunity to simplify our organization, invent more modern approaches to gain efficiency, introduce structures for greater collaboration and effectiveness and drive new levels of scale and client value," King said in a statement.

Publicis will no longer use the names Starcom Mediavest Group or ZenithOptimedia Group moving forward, "to better enable a flatter organizational structure." Just recently, Starcom Mediavest underwent its own restructuring, laying off 80 employees. The move followed a number of big account losses including Walmart, Coca-Cola and Mondelez.

"The new Publicis Media imagined by Steve King is fully equipped to fit the future and best serve our clients. A leaner and simpler structure will bring more value to our clients and will further accelerate our growth," Lévy said in a statement.

The move has also set apart seven centralized "Global Practices" that each of the four global agencies can tap into. These include content; trading and buying; performance; data, technology and innovation; business development and communications; business transformation; and analytics, research and insight. 

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