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Publicis in London goes back to being – Publicis

Publicis Groupe may be carrying all before it – biggest ad holding company by market value (by miles), second biggest by revenue – but its flagship agency in the UK has seemingly been all over the place.

Now under the guidance of Charlie Rudd (as is Leo Burnett and Fallon) it’s changing back from its current guise of Publicis.Poke, which it became five years ago with the absorption of digital agency Poke (bought from Mother) and retail agency Arc, it’s going to be good old Publicis London once again.

Publicis.Poke never sounded right, just as Interpublic’s MullenLowe seem to lack the appeal of once-glamorous Lowe Group. Publicis Groupe has mostly navigated the question of fraught creative agency brands pretty successfully: at the same time as energetically promoting its ‘Power of One’ integrated narrative it’s managed to keep its individual agency brands – Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett, Fallon (now much diminished, for a brief time it was the best agency in the world)) and now Publicis – afloat. The fact that they’re all hunkered down in London’s Chancery Lane (with an on-site pub) no doubt helps.

WPP, on the other hand, has gone the merger route with JWT, Y&R and Wunderman being folded into VML, a brand that, in the UK anyway, hardly resonates. Ogilvy is still seemingly its own master, which may be one reason for its current success.

Funny old business, agency branding. Aren’t agency folk supposed to be good at this?

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