Internal Memo: Publicis Groupe CEO Arthur Sadoun Announces Novartis Consolidating Global Media Account With Publicis

By Erik Oster 

Today, Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis consolidated its global media account with Publics Groupe, following a review which also included WPP’s GroupM, Omnicom and Havas.

Publicis Groupe CEO Arthur Sadoun announced the news today via an internal memo, in which he called the pitch process “long and intense” and thanking Starcom and the recently-acquired Epsilon for their efforts in leading the pitch. He went on to explain that Epsilon came on midway through the pitch process, following the acquisition, and that Starcom and Epsilon will work together under an entity called NovartisONE2, “bringing together media and data talent and resources from across the group, under one roof.”

Sadoun said the appointment was important for “two main reasons:” the continuation and expansion of a long client relationship and its success as the initial pitch process conducted in partnership with Epsilon. He notes that the holding company still has a lot of work to do to bring back strong organic growth but claims it is having a “very productive” summer.

Here’s the memo in full:


I would like to share with you some good news today. After a long and intense pitch against Omnicom, Havas and WPP, we have been selected by Novartis as its global media planning, buying, data and analytics partner, across 25 countries.

Thanks to an incredible effort led by Starcom, supported by our strong expertise in healthcare marketing and media, and boosted by Epsilon, we will deliver data-driven marketing strategy and help Novartis accelerate their business transformation. To do this, we are creating NovartisONE2, bringing together media and data talent and resources from across the group, under one roof.

This is important news for two main reasons.

First, along with WPP, we were the incumbents. Our ability to consolidate the entire business, expand our scope, and prove to an existing client that after many years we are still the right partner in their transformation is the clear demonstration of our ability to build strong long term relationships, while perpetually improving our product and our offer.

Second, it was our first joint pitch with Epsilon, who arrived in the middle of the process just after the announcement of the acquisition. They made a real difference by bringing incomparable data and tech expertise, to deliver personalization at scale.

I would like to thank Whitney, Jaclyn, Brian, Andrea, Tony, Melissa, Kerry, Karla, Peter, Sharon, Ray, Vaishali, Danielle, Amanda, Kiersten, John, Stephen, Jaclyn, Lou, Maciek, Michael, Marc, Edmond, Christ, Caroline, Mark, Kristin, Karlgeorg, Alicja, Marina, Elena, Beata, Julia, Sebastian, Bogumila, Elena, Carol Ann, Claire, Sarah, Claudia, Colan, Lily and Mike.

I would also like to say a very special ‘merci’ to Bob and John.

After the BT win in the UK and LVMH in Europe, the summer is proving to be a very productive one for us.

We are of course going through very challenging times and we still have a lot of work to do to come back to strong organic growth. But this kind of major victory is another demonstration that we have the winning model connecting data, creativity and technology, through the Power of One. Now every single one of us should be focused on implementing it, in every country, to drive growth for our clients, and for ourselves. I’m really counting on you all, thank you for all of your efforts.

I hope that those of you going on holiday will get a well-deserved rest. And to everyone still at the office, keep up the great work!