Publicis rolls the data dice again with Rauxa acquisition

Publicis Groupe has acquired yet another agency, US based and female-led Rauxa, described as a full service marketing agency.

In this case that seems to mean direct marketing or maybe CRM. Unusually it will sit within Publicis Media.

Publicis CEO Arthur Sadoun says: “With the acquisition of Rauxa, Publicis Groupe is reinforcing its expertise in driving one-to-one consumer engagement for clients, through data-driven creativity offerings and scaled capabilities. The addition of Rauxa’s data, tech, media, creative and production expertise will accelerate Publicis Media’s and the Groupe’s ability to deliver across all parts of the consumer journey.”

Rauxa founder Jill Gwaltney says: “Twenty years ago, we started Rauxa because we believed that brands’ would need an agency focused on doing the very best job of one-to-one marketing. Today, our largest priority remains helping clients achieve their goals through this focus. Joining the Publicis Media family gives us that much more firepower and scale to do so.”

Publicis says the agency has averaged double-digit growth every year, with a net revenue of around $70M in 2018 and more than 300 employees in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Orange County and Dallas. Rauxa’s clients include Verizon, Samsung, Alaska Airlines, Vans and Celgene.

Publicis recently splashed $4.4bn on data firm Epsilon, the latest in a long list of supposedly data-driven deals. While Rauxa is no doubt an excellent business it’s hard, from a distance admittedly, to see what it brings to the party that differs from other Publicis acquisitions. Publicis’ last major deal before Epsilon was Sapient, a consultancy largely based in India. It took a $1.5bn write-down on this, suggesting that incorporating such businesses is trickier than it appears.

Maybe the point of Rauxa is to acquire mid-range clients in the US. Sadoun needs these acquisitions, big and smaller, to start paying off soon.

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