PARIS – According to Publicis chairman and ceo Maurice Levy, the acquisition of Group" data-categories = "" data-popup = "" data-ads = "Yes" data-company = "[]" data-outstream = "yes" data-auth = "" >

Publicis Eyes Benefits Of FCA Acquisition: New Network Should Support Existing Relationships, Draw New Business By Daniel Tille

PARIS – According to Publicis chairman and ceo Maurice Levy, the acquisition of Group

Last Monday’s press conference announcing the long-rumored acquisition of FCA (ADWEEK, Sept. 13), which bills $167.3 million, by Publicis/FCB will have little impact on overall agency rankings in Europe.
When the equity buyout of the holding company Groupe FCA is completed by year’s end, Publicis, which currently bills $1.2 billion, will still be one of the largest communications groups in France and the Continent, second only to Euro RSCG.
Referring to this as a ‘defensive strategy,’ Levy offered ‘offensive’ thinking for the merger as well. ‘It’s an additional arm for conquering Europe,’ he said. As such, FCA will continue to operate independently after the merger is completed. ‘There are no anticipated plans to merge offices, share resources, even modify FCA’s name,’ in any of the nine European countries where Publicis and FCA both have offices.
As for FCA, it could be argued that the acquisition provides benefits that strike at a more fundamental level. Having been hit hard by the European recession, the French loi Sapin and other financial problems, network growth had stalled. ‘Zero percent change versus last year,’ acknowledged Phillippe Calleux, chairman and ceo of Groupe FCA. And whereas many of the network’s agencies, such as those in Italy and Germany, had performed well, Calleux was candid in admitting that others, such as FCA/London, had not lived up to expectations. ‘Overall, we were not satisfied with our growth,’ he explained. ‘We have seen huge packaged-goods marketers, such as Philip Morris, absorb smaller companies which might have become our clients. We felt it was necessary for FCA to become part of a larger group. There could be no better partner than Publicis/FCB. I am pleased because now we know that FCA will be an agency of the third millennium.’
Daniel Tilles covers advertising from Paris.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)