‘Publicis will not be a Zoom company.’ CEO Sadoun gets real

In a new video message to staff, Publicis Groupe CEO Arthur Sadoun said that the global network has “exhausted everything that home working can teach us” and is banking on a vaccine to get everyone back to the office to “unleash our potential.”

Until then, employees are free to work in whatever way suits them, although he vowed that in the long term “Publicis will not be a Zoom company.” Speaking from Chicago after a series of in-person meetings around the world, Sadoun revealed that 100% of workers in China have returned to the office, compared to 20% in Europe and 3% in the US.

There’s to be no “one size fits all” approach for Publicis Groupe, where 60% of employees are single or living alone, 25% have young kids at home, and 30% are under 30. Sadoun said it would be a priority to make sure that younger employees don’t “become invisible” and lose the chance to develop their careers.

Relying on a vaccine still seems like a pretty long shot, unless Arthur knows something we don’t. Matin Sorrell told an Advertising Week audience that S4 Capital is working on the assumption that a vaccine will be in place at the end of Q2 next year. Whatever, it’s a shame to think of Publicis Groupe’s new, impressive offices in London (the creative HQ in Chancery Lane and the media HQ at TV Centre in White City) only 20% full.

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