Q&A: Publicis Dialog's Nicolas Zunz


NEW YORK Nicolas Zunz, co-president of Publicis Dialog in Paris, reflects on his new role as chairman of a French magazine and Web site that Publicis Groupe acquired last week from Unilever. The customer relationship management property, known as Pour Tout Vous Dire ("For Everything You Say"), features some 30 Unilever brands in a blend of original content, branding and coupons all geared toward mothers. In an interview with senior reporter Andrew McMains, Zunz discusses the types of brands he'd like to add to the mix and the potential for expanding into new markets and media channels.

Adweek: Why did Unilever want to sell this property?

Zunz: They need some experts on the Internet and CRM to develop the platform because they don't have enough expertise inside the company. Also, they've seen that the brand portfolio of Unilever isn't [broad] enough for the shopping needs of consumers. So, they decided to find a new partner with a bit of a larger portfolio to [help] become an important Web site, a destination Web site where a consumer can go and find all the vouchers for their shopping needs.

Why was this property so appealing to Publicis Groupe?

Because we already have a lot of big, national brands here like Nestle or L'Oreal. And we can find a brand portfolio that's very complementary to the Unilever portfolio. Unilever doesn't have brands in chocolate, coffee, milk products or drinks. So we can find in the Publicis portfolio some big companies and some big brands that are able to join the Web site and complement the offer.

Can you also include Procter & Gamble brands in that mix?


It would be unusual to have both Procter and Unilever on the same Web site.

The contract with Unilever is very clear about this. We can have some brands from Procter & Gamble if they're not [direct] competitors with the brands of Unilever. So, it's a huge opportunity for Procter & Gamble in France. We have to just find the good brands that are not direct category competitors.

How does this property fit into Publicis Dialog's broader CRM offering?

We have a lot of CRM programs in France, [but] not a huge program like this. . . So, it's a new way for the group to manage a CRM program. In France, we have all the media expertise -- also in digital -- to manage this kind of program. 

How many work for this Unilever subsidiary?

It's about 10 or 15 people. In France, Dialog has 350 people. 

What was their previous business model?

All the brands of the portfolio paid every year for the program. They had a system to measure the incremental turnover [sales gains], year-over-year from the original investment in the program. Under Publicis, we will change this. We will continue to calculate the year-over-year [results] for the program, but we will put the program into an open architecture. We will propose a lot of tools for the brands to manage a relationship with consumers.

Do you plan to expand beyond the French market?

It's truly the occasion for Publicis to develop this kind of CRM platform in other countries because we can decide to propose this kind of collaboration with a Nestle or with Procter & Gamble.

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