Internal Memo: Publicis Groupe Will Sit Out All of Next Year’s Awards and Trade Shows to Save Money

By Patrick Coffee 

Who cares about advertising awards? Not Arthur Sadoun.

Well, that’s probably not completely accurate. But Sadoun and his fellow Publicis Groupe leaders DID announce today that they care more about their new AI-powered “professional assistant” platform Marcel than they do about any of next year’s big industry events.

According to an internal memo we received today, this is part of a larger effort to find “cost synergies,” or ways to save money.

Sadoun conducted two related interviews that ran today: one in which he talked about the platform with Adweek and one in which he confirmed to AdAge that the entire network will be skipping Cannes, CES, etc. next year.


But it won’t just be the big awards shows. Publicis will effectively cut all paid promotional efforts until after next year’s Cannes festival, which follows Marcel’s planned debut at VivaTech in Paris next June. Sadoun told Adweek this means avoiding “anything that has to do with promoting ourselves in order to make sure that our people and our money is put in the right place.”

And that’s not up for debate, either. So Snapchat and Facebook will be even more dominant at Cannes next year.

Here is the memo written by Chicago-based Re:Sources CEO Frank Voris, whose company went through a large round of automation-related layoffs earlier this year.


As you know, Arthur had his first mgmt. session on Saturday in Paris. He clearly laid out his vision and we aligned on several actions that will be communicated in the near term.

Focus areas:

1) Talent / People
2) Client centric organization
3) Own the transformation space
4) Technology at the core
5) Growth
6) Reinvent our cost structure

With that said, you will start to hear about his “Platform” strategy, Tuesday from Cannes. However, these plans are aggressive … both regarding magnitude and time to market. For perspective, the GROUPE is looking for 2.5% cost synergies for 2018 and will be ELIMINATING all Award / Trade shows for the next year. As a result, ReSources will not participate in any Vendor conferences, Industry tradeshows and/or Award shows effective July 1st. This is mandatory and exceptions will not be approved.

As you recall, I have set a tone for positive Change. The Industry and the GROUPE is in a state of constant change … all for the better. As a result, we need to plow forward and continue on our journey to be a value added partner for our sister Agencies. The only thing in life that is controllable is GREAT performance day in and day out. Deliver “Excellence Through Partnership” daily and we will be rewarded with a bigger and better position within the GROUPE.

Happy to discuss if you have any questions … Award / Trade show ban is effective for the entire GROUPE, not just ReSources.