Levy: Sapient Will Move Inside Your Agency. Deep Inside.

By Patrick Coffee 

Before this week’s 4A’s conference, Publicis Groupe CEO Maurice Levy told Adweek that he sees his agencies competing directly with consultancies like Deloitte and Accenture for business moving forward and restating his belief that the Sapient acquisition was far more important to the holding company than the failed Omnicom merger.

He later said that sexism isn’t really a problem in the ad industry, a sentiment that Sir Martin Sorrell used to insult him and label him an out-of-touch old man.

It’s now becoming a bit clearer, however, what he meant about Sapient. According to yesterday’s press release, Sapient teams will embed themselves in every single Publicis agency like the ear larvae from The Wrath of Khan…or something more positive and business-focused that we can’t really bring to mind at the moment.

The initiative is called Sapient Inside, and it’s “designed to bring the best of the Publicis.Sapient platform to Publicis Communications clients” by “leveraging existing digital experts and providing a seamless link to the Publicis.Sapient platform’s expertise in enterprise digital transformation, scaled technology solutions and communications platforms.”

The rollout will be somewhat rapid, with Sapient Inside teams working in Publicis’ New York, Chicago, London, Paris, Shanghai, Hamburg and Dubai offices starting in July and expanding to most/all locations in 2017.

In the words of Publicis.Sapient CEO Allen Herrick, these not-invaders will be working alongside (or at least near) creative teams and their refrigerators to “[transcend] conventional attempts at collaboration, further breaking down silos and enabling true collaboration for the benefit of our clients.”

This makes sense: instead of going through the steps required to get outside digital consultants involved, agency teams can just call them over to the desk or conference room.

Mini-silos are still silos, though.

[Pic via Reuters/IBTimes]