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Is production agency Prodigious the key to Sadoun’s revolution at Publicis Communications?

What’s the new improved Publicis Groupe going to look like?

Much like the old one, with a dash of WPP, according to a report in Ad Age.

logoNarrowPublicis Communications is the new operating unit for the group’s creative agencies – which now includes a production agency called Prodigious – run by former Publicis Worldwide boss, Arthur Sadoun.

Sadoun has formed a global creative board, headed by Leo Burnett’s Mark Tuttsel, and a ‘Global ComEx’ which includes top execs from its various agencies (apart from Burnett, Publicis Worldwide and Prodigious these are BBH, Saatchi & Saatchi with PR firm MSL rolled in).

Sadoun says he wants them to work more closely together, which is what WPP has been doing with its creative agencies for years (with varying degrees of success, admittedly). So not that big a change, given that holding companies pitch as one for big accounts these days anyway.

They also need to make money, of course, and it’s getting tougher and tougher, especially, it seems, for Publicis. If extra income is hard to come by, the obvious thing to do is cut costs.

I wonder if we’ll be hearing more of Prodigious? It’s not a big step to run the agencies as ‘white label’ operations – there to put on a front for clients and handle conflicts – while the heavy lifting is actually done by a group-wide production agency. All the networks now have them. Sprinkle a few creatives on top of it and, hey presto, producing ads becomes rather cheaper – if not, necessarily, better.

One agency creatives, as we’ve known them, could become even more of an endangered species.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.
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