Publicis' Levy radically modifies, turns model upside down

Rosie Baker
By Rosie Baker | 3 December 2015
Maurice Levy has outlined some fundamental changes in the organisation of the Publicis Groupe including a new focus on 'The Power of One', the alchemy between creativity and technology and measuring performance by standards of client service.

Maurice Levy, chairman of the Publicis Groupe, has outlined wholesale shift in the way the global organisation operates by splitting it into four units and saying that it is turning its model upside down, removing its silos and focusing on what he calls “The Power of One”.

Levy says that it is “radically modifying” the business model putting the client at the heart, and breaking down the silos between its global networks which include Leo Burnett, Saatchi & Saatchi ZenithOptimedia and Starcom MediaVest.

In a 20 minute video address posted today Levy outlined a new definition and vision for Publicis Groupe to be "the admired force for business transformation, driven through the alchemy of creativity and technology”.

He said that every word in the definition is important but that the alchemy of creativity and technology line “is his favourite”.

“Behind big ideas we want to bring a touch of magic that makes all the difference – it is at the heart of what we do for our clients, to transform a big idea into big concrete reality. This alchemy, this magic, is such that the combination between the creativity and technology greatly outweighs the power of either separately,” he said.

The company will now be split into four divisions but each brand will remain and keep its own culture;

Publicis Communications will be led by Arthur Sadoun, and will include Publicis Worldwide, MSL, Nurun, Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett as well as BBH and Marcel.

Publicis Media will be led by Steve King, and will bring together Starcom Mediavest, ZenithOptimedia, Vivaki, Performics, MRY, Moxie or RUN.

Publicis.Sapient will be led by Alan Herrick, includes Sapient Consulting, SapientNitro, DigitasLBi, Razorfish and "designed for tomorrow’s [digital] world” and Publicis Healthcare led by Nick Colucci.

It has also created the Publicis One division which will bring together all countries where Publicis has only a marginal footprint, with the intention of creating a stronger structure for growth.

The move means a completely different structure for the group and it remains to be seen what it means for how Publicis Groupe's companies such as Leo Burnett, Publicis Mojo and Saatchi & Saatchi will work together.

AdNews has reached out to all local Publicis offices for comment. It's understood that while the announcement is global and the intention will be to implement it here, there are no local instructions as to what the first steps will be. 

Since April, Levy said the group has been in discussions about its organisational structure, culminating in its September leadership meeting in San Francisco. The changes will come into effect on 2 January 2016.

It also means a new structure for client teams, and that standard of client service will be the new measure of the group's performance.

Each client will be led by a chief client officer and supervised by a group chief revenue officer - a new role filled by Laura Desmond.

The mission is to “simplify the way clients access the range of solutions, without duplication or delay, and to accelerate the Groupe’s growth and development”.

Levy said: “By breaking down silos in order to offer clients the Group’s entire know-how and expertise through the 'Power of One' all Publicis Groupe capabilities will be available to each of its clients – in a simple, flexible and efficient way. A bit like a smartphone: powered by sophisticated technology but very easy to use.”

You can watch the entire presentation in English here:

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