Publicis Forms Global Events Group

BOSTON Publicis Groupe continues to bolster its specialty service offerings, naming longtime holding company executive Richard Attias to launch PublicisLive, a global events management venture based in Geneva, Switzerland.

Attias, who will have a “significant minority interest” in the new company, will focus on producing high-end international conferences and events, particularly in Europe and the Middle East, according to Publicis.

The unit will serve governments, institutions and corporation, which are increasingly demanding sophisticated, tech-driven productions, Publicis said.

Key clients include the World Economic Forum, whose annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, gathers global decision makers.

Recently, Attias, as head of Publicis Events Worldwide, helped organize the annual Petra Conference of Nobel Laureates and the Monaco Media Forum. PublicisLive will now manage both events.

PublicisLive will be autonomous from Publicis Events Worldwide, and both entities will operate as part of Publicis’ Specialized Agencies and Marketing Services group headed by John Farrell.

“Richard [Attias] is one of the most creative and entrepreneurial forces within the Publicis Groupe family, and he has turned Publicis Events Worldwide into an extraordinary force in the global events field,” said Maurice Lévy, holding company CEO and chairman.

Publicis has lately been especially active in acquiring and launching specialty companies large and small.

Last week, it beefed up its consulting credentials by adding The McGinn Group, a risk communications consulting firm in McLean, Va.

Its biggest buy was Boston-based i-shop Digitas, a $1.3 billion deal completed as the year began and designed to bolster the company’s capabilities in digital marketing. Publicis in April acquired a majority stake in Chinese agency Yong Yang to strengthen its Asian operations, and in March absorbed healthcare shop Pharmagistics in Somerset, N.J.