What’s the new Publicis Groupe going to look like?
A big clue came today with the poaching of R/GA heir apparent Nick Law (below) as global CCO and president of Public Communications, putting him in front of all Publicis’ creative leaders.
Law, a 17-year veteran of Interpublic’s flagship R/GA network, where he was latterly vice chairman and global CCO and second only to founder Bob Greenberg, is described by Publicis Groupe CEO Arthur Sadoun as “a true unicorn in our industry. Throughout his career, he has delivered world-class work that builds on what we believe all our clients need: the alchemy of creativity and tech.
“This modernity in ideas, combined with his obvious leadership skills, make Nick the perfect person to play such a pivotal role in our Groupe. His partnership will be a game-changer in our journey to lead the change in our industry.”
R/GA has, indeed, been a big success for IPG although recently, like most other holding company agencies, it has had to cut back.
Sadoun is trying to build a new Publicis, making more of its expensive digital consultancy acquisition Sapient and creating a leaner structure. It currently owns agency brands BBH, Leo Burnett, Publicis Worldwide and Saatchi & Saatchi and media operations Starcom and Zenith.
At the end of last year it hired long-serving Ogilvy UK boss Annette King as its first country manager in the UK although this looked like an opportunistic move as King is said to have fallen out with WPP boss Sir Martin Sorrell.
The next obvious step for Publicis will be to hire an over-arching agency CEO to work under Sadoun. This will not be popular with the various agency brands but that’s the way Publicis, anyway, seems to be heading. Meanwhile Sadoun can pursue his apparent vision of creating an advertising-cum-tech company (or maybe the other way around).