Publicis Joins Dallas Buyers Club

Publicis Groupe confirmed Thursday that it has acquired Dallas-based digital agency Hawkeye, which offers analytics, strategy, CRM and experiential marketing services to clients. Terms were not disclosed.

The holding company said Hawkeye would be aligned with Publicis Dallas, part of the flagship Publicis Worldwide network, and will work with all the agency’s North American offices.

Hawkeye will “operate independently,” according to the holding company -- although Sally Kennedy, CEO of Publicis Dallas, will become CEO of the newly acquired agency, which is being rebranded as Publicis Hawkeye.

Steve Dapper, who founded Hawkeye in 1999, will continue to lead the agency as chairman. Previously, Dapper was chairman and CEO of both WPP’s Wunderman and Omnicom’s Rapp Collins.

Publicis Hawkeye has more than 160 staffers in six offices. In addition to Dallas, they include Charlotte, Buffalo, Minneapolis, Denver and Vail. Clients include Cargill, Agilent, American Airlines, BASF, BestBuy and Lockheed Martin.

The agencies have competed for business from time to time. Last fall, for example, Hawkeye won the Terminix International digital assignment, which had previously been handled by Publicis Dallas.

Commenting on the acquisition, Arthur Sadoun, CEO of Publicis Worldwide, said that Publicis Hawkeye was a good fit with Publicis: “We share the same vision for strategy, technology and entrepreneurship.”

For Publicis Groupe, it’s the second acquisition of a digital agency in as many weeks. Last week, it bought South African digital media shop Lighthouse Digital, which is being aligned with Starcom MediaVest Group and being rebranded SMG Lighthouse.

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