Media industry veteran Jack Klues (left), long-time boss of Publicis Groupe’s VivaKi media operation, is to retire at the end of the year. CFO Frank Voris is taking over with Rishad Tobaccowala as chief strategy and innovation officer (the media man presumably).
At the same Publicis Groupe CEO Maurice has announced that Vivaki will become a ‘separate business unit’ open to all PG’s agencies as opposed to just the big media agencies.
Quite what this means is anyone’s guess as the world of big media agencies becomes more opaque by the day. But, reading between the lines, it seems to be a further move towards the establishment of an even more powerful online ad exchange at PG. Everything digital at PG (35 per cent or so of its business before the recent acquisition of digital network LBi) will now be funnelled through Vivaki.
The logical next step would be for Vivaki to open its doors to rival agencies and even agency groups too. If this were to happen PG would establish an important lead over its only real agency-based rival in digital, Sir Martin Sorrell’s WPP.
Maybe this is the grand plan that prevents Le Grand Maurice finally following his loyal capo Klues into a well-earned retirement.