Publicis Groupe likes to display its sense of humour at Christmas. Former CEO Maurice Lévy was always happy to be the butt of the joke, but this year that role goes to Marcel, the AI robot.
Marcel – who appears as a screen on wheels – is not popular. Staff are still bitter that he took up all the Cannes budget one year, and they shout “loser” as he rolls by with loo paper stuck to his wheel. His talent for doing their time sheets is not enough to get him invited to the Christmas party.
Even his fellow robots don’t like him. When Marcel asks the voice assistant to “play something Christmassy,” the reply comes back: “Do it yourself.”
The film wishes viewers, “A very Marcel holiday.” Wouldn’t wish that on anyone.
Publicis has agreed to buy French consultancy Soft Computing for an estimated €50m. Soft Computing employs around 400 people and will make Publicis the biggest data provider for marketing in France.