Publicis Groupe CEO Arthur Sadoun Outlines Client-Focused Measures in Response to Covid-19

By Erik Oster 

In his latest Sunday video to staff across the holding company, Publicis Groupe CEO Arthur Sadoun turned his attention toward clients.

Sadoun opened his weekly address to Publicis Groupe by acknowledging that thus far the focus has been on “defending our people and our business,” which has included internal measures to reduce costs and the decision to accelerate the rollout of Marcel.

At the same time, he emphasizes the need for Publicis Groupe to remain close to clients and address their evolving needs during the crisis.


He explains that “defending alone won’t be enough to get us through this crisis,” with more proactive measures necessary to help clients weather the impact of the pandemic and prepare for recovery. Acknowledging how hard employees have been working to help clients “on the front lines,” he thanks them for their efforts before pivoting to Publicis Groupe’s commitment to further client-centric measures.

Publicis Groupe employees, he explains, have been “working around the clock” to develop innovative approaches, products and services to “strike back during this crisis.”

As an example he points to Epsilon working in collaboration with PMX to develop an “outcome-based product” for clients to maximize ROI on media investments during a time of scarce resources. Sadoun emphasizes this should be presented to clients wherever available. He also emphasizes the importance of creativity to “build greater connectivity, meaning and value” for clients.

Citing a rapid change in digital behavior over the course of just a few weeks, Sadoun explains that Publicis Groupe will need to develop new digital customer experiences. He explains that Publicis Sapient has been at the forefront of the effort, “developing new IPs with strong partners to immediately answer that need.”

Sadoun claims these are only a few examples of the many initiatives Publicis Groupe is implementing to drive value for clients. Brands need their partners to help drive growth, Sadoun explains, announcing that Publicis Groupe will launch a big effort later this week to help clients achieve that goal and begin “leading the change in our industry.”

He places the responsibility on managers of all Publicis Groupe agencies to “propose new solutions in a creative way,” explaining that “everyone has to think like an entrepreneur,” while it is the responsibility of Publicis Groupe to provide the means to achieve that. To that end, Sadoun explains that Justin Billingsley, who was named Publicis Groupe’s first global CMO last week, will be coordinating these efforts at the Publicis Groupe level.