Publicis boss Sadoun hymns new business wins – so a return to growth should be just around the corner?

Is Publicis winning the global new business battle? CEO Arthur Sadoun (below) certainly thinks so judging by this memo, “obtained” by Campaign. You mean Arthur didn’t pop it into an email?

“Bonjour,

I’m sorry to bother you again over the summer (how French..) but when it’s with good news I hope you’ll agree that it’s worth it.

Today I’m pleased to share that we have been named by Mondelez as its global creative partner for two of its core strategic categories: Biscuits, which is their largest division and Gum, including Trident – the global leading brand. This comes after a long, seven-month pitch process including us and their key incumbents – WPP & IPG.

Mondelez was looking for a transformative, integrated agency solution that could help them bring to life their bold ambition to reinvent marketing across their multiple categories and iconic brands around the world. Thanks to our ability to bring together creative, media and technology, to drive personalized creative experiences at scale, we were able to demonstrate that Digitas, powered by the group, was the right partner for the next step in their journey.

As always with global pitches, it’s impossible to individually thank everyone involved. So in addition to saying a big ‘thank you’ to all of the teams who participated, a special ‘merci’ goes to Carla who has lead this pitch, Linda, Taras, and magic Fran (no idea who they are, but they all sound female.)

It is important to note that in the last few weeks, we’ve had two major creative wins, with BT in the UK and now Mondelez globally, and two major media wins, with LVMH in Europe and Novartis globally. To get to all of these victories, we have boosted our creative and media offers through data and technology, to show our clients why and how they should shift to personalized experiences at scale, to accelerate their growth while reducing their costs.

Our winning model connecting data, dynamic creativity and technology is without a doubt what all of our clients need. Let’s make sure we bring it to all of them, with a strong growth mindset for them and for us.

Amitiés,
Arthur”

Time was when holding company bosses stayed above the new business fray, at least in terms of bragging about it. WPP’s Mark Read is also quick to jump on such wins, indicating not just a concern with his company but, as with Sadoun, a reminder to markets that substantial business is still finding a home in the sector generally.

Publicis has, indeed, done well in the new business stakes. Logically, therefore, the French-owned marcoms group should return to growth with a vengeance sometime soon.

But, as Sadoun says, the way to win such business is to “accelerate growth while reducing their costs.” Which, presumably includes agency income. As Madison Avenue Manslaughter author Michael Farmer has oft reminded us.

If a holding company can hoover up new business without returning to growth then the model really is well and truly broken.

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About Stephen Foster

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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.