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Publicis Groupe embarks on yet another mystifying digital reshuffle

Publicis Groupe bought Montreal-based Nurun, which has 11 offices across the world, in September from Quebecor Media in a $115 million deal.

Nurun’s offices in Montreal, San Francisco, Madrid and Shanghai will be integrated into Publicis Worldwide to create a new digital network, under the leadership of the global chief executive, Arthur Sadoun.

Publicis Worldwide’s digital agencies, including Poke in London, Pixelpark in Germany, AG2 in Brazil, Machine in South Africa, Lead2Action in Mexico, IStrat in India, Ineo in Singapore, and Modem in France, Turkey, the US and Canada will be part of the Nurun umbrella brand, but run as independent entities and brands.

Meanwhile, the Nurun agencies in Quebec, Toronto, France and Atlanta will be fully integrated into the newly formed Razorfish Global network, under the chief executive, Tom Adamski. Razorfish will not keep the Nurun brand.

The integration will take place over the next ten months….You can read the rest here in Campaign.

Now $115m is small change by Publicis standards (it’s just forked out $3.7bn in cash for Sapient and Sapient Nitro, which looks like the steal of the century if you’re Sapient or Nitro) but, we have to ask, has Publicis boss Maurice Levy lost his marbles?

I read one estimate of his various digital acquisitions which scored them at $7bn, yet most of the brands seem to disappear. So what’s Publicis buying? People? Clients?

Portrait de Mr Arthur SadoumSadoun (left) says: “Nurun will have the best of both worlds – great digital capabilities and direct access to strategic and creative leadership throughout the Publicis Worldwide network.”

Adamski says: “Nurun’s history is deeply rooted in human-centered design and technology consulting, and this important addition completes our ability to leverage customer intelligence to drive meaningful business impact for our clients.”

Completes what exactly Tom? If you didn’t have all these digital bells and whistles with $7bn-worth of Sapient, Razorfish, Digitas, LBi, Rosetta, Big Fuel (keep forgetting about that one) and heaven knows what else, how is Nurun going to help? Apart from adding a terrible name that, for now, is only going to be half forgotten.

Merde alors!

One Comment

  1. I wonder if there is a report analyzing on how many agency brands have been kept alive after the acquisitions in Publicis, WPP, Omnicom and Interpublic as well as how long the founders and top executives have stayed on their positions. What’s slightly concerning is that the acquisitions seem to be seen as food: i order for the groups to survive, they “eat” agencies and once they “digest” them, they go after a new “meal”.

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