Will Publicis’ new creative HQ ‘Le Truc’ one day replace separate creative departments?

Publicis Groupe’s ‘Power of One’ proposal appears to have taken a big step forward (somewhat belated perhaps) with the formation of ‘Le Truc’ in New York, a 600-strong collective of creatives, strategists and producers.

Staff will be drawn from all Publicis’ creative agencies with Carla Serrano, Global CSO of Publicis Groupe in charge along with Elaine Barker, managing partner of operations at Saatchi & Saatchi. Also on board is former Droga5 CCO Neil Heymann, Bastien Batman from Ogilvy as chief design officer, Leo Burnett global creative head Liz Taylor and Publicis North America CCO Andy Bird.

Publicis says the new entity is designed to address post-pandemic working conditions and client demands, not replace its existing agency line-up. Some of the leaders will, presumably, hold down their old jobs.

President Serrano says: “The post-pandemic world and workplace will never be the same, and we must design for the future – which will be flexible, collaborative and ever-changing. Le Truc’s nimble, fluid talent model brings together the best minds and offerings, ensuring clients get curated teams while delivering more enriching and diverse experiences for our people.”

You don’t need the gift of second sight to see that Le Truc (French slang for thing, concrete or abstract) could easily replace separate creative departments in standalone agencies.

With the agency world seemingly moving more towards project work instead agency-of-record arrangements (and even these seem to be reviewed almost annually) Le Truc may be Publicis’ template for a different, smaller in some ways and, crucially, cheaper future.

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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.

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