Publicis Cuts 8% of Digitas Health Staff in North America, Folds Philly Unit Evolvr

By Patrick Coffee 

Publicis LifeBrands has folded Evolvr, a Digitas Health spinoff, after approximately 3 years due to a reduction in spending by its only client. The move coincides with reductions affecting the larger Digitas Health organization across its North American offices.

Most of the employees who ran the unit—which shared an address with Digitas Health Philadelphia—returned to the latter operation, according to an agency spokesperson.

About three years ago, we pulled together a talented team of people—which we branded Evolvr—to service the multidisciplinary needs for one of our clients. After a successful, nearly three-year run, in Q1 2017, our client no longer required the same level of work, so the Evolvr brand was made inactive and the team was redeployed to Digitas Health, where they came from. While Evolvr is currently inactive, we reserve the opportunity to reactivate the team brand if a client needs a similar bespoke solution.


Because Publicis Health does not name any of its clients, we do not know at the moment which business Evolvr worked on or why, specifically, it became “inactive.”

The agency spokesperson said that most of Evolvr’s approximately 60 employees, including its creative and business leads, are now back at Digitas.

According to the parties who alerted us to the Evolvr change, Digitas Health organization has gone through at least one round of downsizing this year following the February promotion of Matt McNally to president and chief media officer of the larger Publicis Health organization. The press release listed “oversight of Evolvr” among his new responsibilities.

The Publicis Health representative said these layoffs affected approximately 40 employees, or 8 percent of Digitas Health’s total staff “across North America.” The given reason for the changes was an effort “to best service current and near-term client needs.”

Publicis Groupe similarly went through a significant restructuring of its New York-based healthcare operations in early 2016, mashing Publicis Life Brands Medicus and Digitas Health LifeBrands into one organization. The move involved parting with an estimated 20-30 employees.