Publicis Puts Another BRIC In Its Wall: Acquires Brazil's Tribal, Expands Digitas Footprint

Paris-based global ad giant Publicis Groupe this morning announced the acquisition of one of the leading digital agencies in a key emerging market - Sao Paulo, Brazil-based Tribal - which will become part of the burgeoning global network of Publicis' Digitas unit.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the companies said that Tribal would retain its brand identity in Brazil, one of the fastest growing ad markets for both digital and traditional media, and that it would continue to be managed by its existing team, including CEO Pierre Mantovani and Chief Creative Officer Renato Fabri, who will report to François de La Villardière, CEO of Digitas Latin America.

Publicis executives said the deal marks a key step in the international expansion of the Digitas global network.

Digitas, which was acquired by Publicis at the end of 2006 for $1.3 billion, expanded into the UK, India and Singapore in 2007, and into China via its acquisition of CCG, and France via its acquisition of Interactif.

Founded in 1998, Tribal has established itself as one of Brazil's leading digital shops, specializing in strategic brand planning, marketing analytics, media planning and buying, interactive marketing, Web and interactive development for clients including Microsoft, Philips, Chrysler and Whirlpool.

According to estimates from Publicis' ZenithOptimedia unit, Brazil is one of the most promising advertising markets in the world, expanding 25.1% in 2007, and projected to maintain a pace faster than overall worldwide ad growth for the foreseeable future. ZenithOptimedia has forecasted a 15.4% rate of growth for Brazil in 2008, and double-digit increases through 2010.

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