Just months after acquiring Amsterdam-based independent digital agency LBi for $540 million, Publicis is merging it with its flagship digital agency network, Digitas, to create DigitasLBi, a new global network with 5,700 employees in more than 25 countries. LBi chief Luke Taylor has been named global CEO of the consolidated group, filling a void that has been vacant since Laura Lang left Digitas to become CEO of Time Inc. more than a year ago. Colin Kinsella remains CEO of Digitas USA.
Taylor will report directly to Bob Lord, CEO of Publicis Groupe’s Digital Technology Division. A team of senior LBi, Digitas and Publicis Groupe executives will oversee the merger process under the leadership of Stephan Beringer, CEO, Digitas and Razorfish International.
“Digitas and LBi share strong grounding in digital, including data, direct, social, search and platform delivery,” Publicis said in a statement released early this morning that made no reference to VivaKi, the digital and media management entity within Publicis that had previously overseen Digitas.
“Pooling these cutting-edge skillsets,” the statement continued, “DigitasLBi’s outstanding service offering will provide clients with unique depth and breadth of expertise across the widest range of digital disciplines, including strategy & analytics, performance marketing, service design, e-commerce, brand strategy, content development, mobile, market research, CRM, search and social media.”