Publicis Reports 'Most Terrible' Results, Claims It Is Becoming An 'All-Digital Agency'

Paris-based Publicis Groupe, which currently boasts that 25% of its revenues are derived from digital advertising and media services, ultimately plans to become an "all-digital agency," its Chairman-CEO Maurice Levy said in an interview following the release of its third quarter earnings this morning.

Addressing why Publicis appears to be out-performing the results of the other major agency holding companies during the global economic recession, Levy said, "Obviously we have invested a lot in transforming Publicis into an all-digital agency and this is starting to pay. We have very good numbers for growth in digital. And this is something which is offsetting the decrease of some other activities."

The statement follows Publicis' recent closing on its acquisition of Razorfish from Microsoft, as well as organic growth in digital advertising services from units such as Digitas, VivaKi, Denuo, Starcom MediaVest Group, and ZenithOptimedia Group, and while he said the organization does not plan another big digital advertising services acquisition, Levy left that door open if the right opportunity comes along: "We have no plans to make further large acquisitions. We have plenty of plans to make small acquisitions in two areas. One is everything which has to do with emerging markets. In emerging markets we are interested by agencies, advertising agencies, PR agencies, marketing services, digital - obviously - or media. And we are still interested across the board by digital operations. These acquisitions are very hard to find ; there are not many, and they are not very costly. We have liquidity of about €3.5 billion and this gives us ample room to make the acquisitions we expect to do, but normally we should be at a very low level of spending and I don't anticipate some major acquisition any time soon."



For the third-quarter of 2009, Publicis said its organic revenues declined 7.4%, which is slightly better than the 8.6% decline it reported for the second-quarter, and Levy said the ad industry downturn appeared to have bottomed out in the summer, and he called June "the most terrible months we have ever seen."

1 comment about "Publicis Reports 'Most Terrible' Results, Claims It Is Becoming An 'All-Digital Agency'".
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  1. Howie Goldfarb from Blue Star Strategic Marketing, October 27, 2009 at 9:55 a.m.

    All digital can mean many things. My concern would be the explosion in software use that disables Digital Ad Networks from serving Ads to browsers. More and more people are looking to minimize the Ad Invasion, especially some of the more annoying developments in the technologies.

    But I also see a lot more Advertising being consumed on You Tube where many commercials get posted, especially funny ones that are much longer than 30 secs and wonder if Publicis includes such work in their 'Digital' scope. And what about OOH digital billboards?

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