Publicis Aligns Performics, Moxie

Publicis Groupe is continuing its efforts to recast its digital offerings with a reorganization that aligns search-marketing shop Performics and digital agency Moxie Interactive.
Under the plan, Performics of Chicago and Atlanta-based Moxie will align to create a broader suite of digital marketing services. Performics will concentrate on performance marketing, in particular search. Moxie will focus on creative, technology and social marketing. The agencies will continue to operate under their own brands, but will be under the leadership of Moxie CEO Joel Lunenfeld (pictured). Moxie operates as a division of the Zenith Optimedia network.
Moxie is the much larger of the two shops, with 300 employees to Performics’ 160.
Executives painted the move as short of a merger but as a way for the shops to do what they do best and collaborating when clients want several services.
“What we’re seeing is things like social, digital video and mobile are creating a need for agencies to remain specialists, but the agency of the future is one who can partner and work with anyone,” Lunenfeld said.
As part of the reorg, Performics CEO Nick Beil is moving over to the VivaKi Nerve Center, where he was already serving as managing director of North America. Daina Middleton, svp of Moxie’s research division, will assume the new role of president of Performics on April 1.
“The offerings are quite complementary,” Middleton said. “It more formally allows us to bring those services to bear.”
Since acquiring Digitas in 2007 to charge its digital strategy, Publicis has been active in rearranging its digital assets. It created VivaKi in June 2008 to house them, with the Nerve Center acting as a developer of tech tools that all Publicis agencies can use. Publicis acquired Performics in August 2008 from Google, which came into possession of it via its April 2007 $3.1 billion purchase of DoubleClick.
The holding company also bought Razorfish, which it operates as a second digital network alongside Digitas while centralizing some back-end and international operations.
Performics and Moxie will remain part of VivaKi after the alignment, execs said.