Publicis Groupe Acquires Engauge, Merges It with Moxie

By Kiran Aditham 

Well, so much for the We Hear item we were plotting for today. We’ve been tracking this story since Monday afternoon as we received a half-dozen tips about it over a 24-hour period (for example, “Moxie’s dream team getting snapped up by Enguage” and “Publicis is buying Engauge and consuming Moxie.  announcement this week”).  Now, the announcement has been made. Publicis Groupe has acquired six-year-old, Columbus, OH-based agency Engauge and has in turned aligned it with Atlanta-based Moxie Interactive, which we’re sure you’re familiar with if you’ve checked out the site over the past couple of years. As a result of the acquisition, Engauge joins Moxie within PG’s ZenithOptimedia Group umbrella.

The “dream team” that the one tipster is referring to is the leadership group formed by Moxie earlier this year. This includes SVP/new business Jane Matthews, CTO Matthew Fleischman and EVP, creative Anthony Reeves, who joined last fall, Sharon Boddie, SVP of strategy and media and John Rich, VP of digital strategy. As for Engauge, the agency works with clients including AMC Theaters, Chick-fil-A, Nationwide, Coca-Cola and UPS. The new, combined Moxie/Engauge entity will house over 600 employees.

Here are some quotes from the higher-ups at both agencies. First, Suzy Deering, Moxie CEO, who says, “By fusing Engauge’s expertise in social marketing together with Moxie’s capabilities and resources, we will be able to provide our clients with a stronger, multichannel, geographically-diverse company that is able to offer the best services and solutions all under one roof.”

And now, Engauge CEO Nick Bandy’s explanation for joining the Publicis Groupe fold. “Over the past year, the leadership team of Engauge has explored ways to meet the challenges of the evolving and increasingly complex marketing landscape to ultimately help with our clients’ continued success,” he says. “Through this discovery work we entered discussions with multiple companies across the advertising business. Where we found most accord and alignment with our mutual goals was with Publicis Groupe. We believe this change in ownership will enable us to meet our goals, provide long-term stability to our company, give access to world-class marketing resources, products, tools and apps, research, data and insight capability and, of course, access to a substantial talent pool across the world which for our people presents greatly enhanced career opportunities.”

Update: Moxie has updated its site to address the change via a manifesto of sorts.