Publicis Media Reorganizes Into 4 Global Agency Operations

Publicis Media has laid out the broad strokes of its new organizational plan, which includes a splitting up of Starcom from Mediavest and Zenith from Optimedia. The SMG, ZO, and ViVaki brands are being retired. 

As envisioned by Steve King, who was appointed CEO Publicis Media late last year, the holding company will regroup its six media agency brands into four global agency operations. 

Starcom and Zenith will now operate as standalone global agency brands.

Mediavest and Spark (both part of the former SMG operation) are being consolidated to form a third global unit and Optimedia and Blue 449 (the latter was formed about a year ago with Walker Media at its core) are being brought together to form a so-called “challenger brand.” 

The media reorganization is part of Publicis Groupe’s broader “Power of One” restructuring announced in December of last year. At the time, the company said that Laura Desmond, global CEO of Starcom Mediavest Group would take on the new Publicis Groupe role of Global Chief Revenue Officer. 



The new media agency structure will focus on the top 20 global markets organized by three regions, with Tim Jones, who previously headed ZenithOptimedia in North America, now regional CEO for the Americas. Iain Jacob will be CEO for Europe, Middle East and Africa and Gerry Boyle will be CEO overseeing the Asia-Pacific region. 

Each agency will be led by a global brand president, with Lisa Donohue filling the role at Starcom, Vittorio Bonori for Zenith, Brian Terkelsen for Mediavest|Spark and Andras Vigh for Optimedia |Blue. 

There will be four U.S. CEOs, including Chris Boothe for Mediavest|Spark, Lou Rossi for Zenith and Dave Ehlers for Optimedia. Donohue will fill the role at Starcom until a successor is named. The U.S. CEOs report to Jones. 

Dave Penski has been appointed Chief Investment Officer for Publicis Media in the U.S., overseeing all media investment and media vendor partnerships. According to the group, its U.S. consolidated billings are estimated at $39 billion with a 33% market share. It cited RECMA as the source. 

At the Publicis Media global management level, Adrian Sayliss becomes CFO; Severine Charbon will be Chief Talent Officer and John Sheehy will oversee global clients. 

There will also be seven global practices (with their leads in parenthesis): 

Data, Technology & Innovation (Stephan Beringer); Content (Belinda Rowe); Trading & Buying (Simon Pardon); Performance (Michael Kahn); Business Development & Communications (Lauren Hanrahan); Business Transformation (Richard Hartell), and Analytics, Research & Insight (Steve Simpson). 

The company said the ViVaki offering is being absorbed by the global practices units.


4 comments about "Publicis Media Reorganizes Into 4 Global Agency Operations".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, March 10, 2016 at 10:59 a.m.

    When the time comes when all of the ad agencies and their attendent media buying conglomerates are merged into one monster entity----don't laugh, I'm not kidding--- it will be interesting to see how the "parent" company organizes its flock for maximum personnel efficiency. Perhaps, by then, there will be a similar reorg. on the client side, with thousands of companies all operating under a single corporate banner. I can hardly wait to read the press release trying to explain how these masses of "clients" and "agencies" interface.

  2. Kevin Densmore from Titanium Media Solutions, March 10, 2016 at 12:20 p.m.

    Eventually we'll have one big agency and one big client and the client will take the work inhouse. 

  3. Joe Shain from Allscope Direct, March 10, 2016 at 2:30 p.m.

    Musical chairs does not result in fresh perspectives or innovative thinking.
    What are the clients getting that they didnt get before?  Do they really think that 40 Billion in clout gives them better rates than 10 Billion?  Time will tell the story.

  4. JD Norman from Digitas replied, March 11, 2016 at 8:10 a.m.

    So funny.

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