BOSTON Continuing its yearlong string of global acquisitions and hopping on the green-marketing bandwagon in a big way, Publicis Groupe has made its first buy of 2008, scooping up Act Now Productions, a sustainability consultancy in San Francisco.
Act Now will operate under Publicis' global Saatchi & Saatchi agency network. Adam Werbach, a leading environmentalist and Greenpeace board member who founded Act Now 10 years ago, has been named CEO of the rebranded Saatchi & Saatchi S, reporting to Andy Murray, CEO of the existing Saatchi & Saatchi X retail and in-store marketing division.
The goal of Saatchi S: assist companies and their employees with achieving environmental sustainability while also meeting performance goals.
Maurice Lévy, CEO of Publicis Groupe, said the acquisition signals the holding company's serious commitment to helping firms find solutions and adapt in an increasingly "green" business and political environment.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Added Werbach: "This is about taking the vision, mission and passion of the people of Act Now to the talents, process, scale, impact and creativity of the people of Saatchi & Saatchi."
Paris-based Publicis has been shoring up its capabilities in many areas since closing on its $1.3 billion acquisition of i-shop Digitas as 2007 began. In addition to building out Digitas to extend its global reach in the interactive realm, Publicis has made buys to strengthen its consulting and media-buying operations in the U.S., Europe and Asia.
In a nod to the growing importance of search advertising, Publicis last week said it has begun informally sharing staff and ideas with Internet giant Google.
Saatchi S currently has a satellite office in Boulder, Colo., and plans 2008 expansion into New York, Chicago, London, Beijing and Fayetteville, Ark. That latter outpost is near the headquarters of key Saatchi X client Wal-Mart.