Publicis axes global agency brands in major media restructure | M&M Global

Publicis axes global agency brands in major media restructure

Publicis Groupe has revealed a major restructure of its media operations, consolidating buying under the new Publicis Media division, and merging and disbanding some of its agency brands.

Steve King, CEO, Publicis Media
Steve King, CEO, Publicis Media

Under newly-appointed chief executive Steve King, Publicis Media will operate four global brands: Starcom, Zenith, Mediavest|Spark and Optimedia|Blue 449.

Mediavest|Spark will be pitched as a “third large global agency brand”, while Optimedia|Blue 449 is being described by Publicis as a “powerful global challenger brand”.

The Starcom Mediavest and ZenithOptimedia global agency groups will be disbanded, while Vivaki – previously a trading desk, and more recently a centre of excellence for data – will be folded into Publicis Media.

King said the restructure aimed to “simplify” Publicis’ media offering, and use increased scale to drive efficiencies, in the wake of disappointing losses of business from clients such as Procter & Gamble and Walmart.

“We are driven to get to the future first. Publicis Media is a fresh opportunity to simplify our organisation, invent more modern approaches to gain efficiency, introduce structures for greater collaboration and effectiveness, and drive new levels of scale and client value,” said King.

Publicis Groupe chairman and CEO Maurice Lévy added: “The new Publicis Media imagined by Steve King is fully equipped to fit the future and best serve our clients. A leaner and simpler structure will bring more value to our clients and will further accelerate our growth.”

People moves

The restructure has also led to a large number of people moves within the organisation.

Below King, Publicis Media will be led by three regional chief executives: Tim Jones for the Americas, Iain Jacob for EMEA and Gerry Boyle for APAC.

Adrian Sayliss becomes Publicis Media chief financial officer, Séverine Charbon assumes the role of chief talent officer, and John Sheehy has been made head of global clients for the new organisation.

Each of the four agency units will be led by a global brand president.

Former Starcom USA boss Lisa Donohue – who spoke to M&M Global at Mobile World Congress last month – takes the top role global role at Starcom. Vittorio Bonori has been named global brand president for Zenith, while the newly-merged Mediavest-Spark and Optimedia-Blue 449 divisions will be led by Brian Terkelsen and Andras Vigh respectively.


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