Publicis Groupe's Sadoun On 'Accelerating Our Game Changers'

Publicis Groupe chairman/CEO Arthur Sadoun is quite confident that his company holds the secret sauce to winning market share going forward. He talked to MediaPost in a follow-up interview after detailing the firm’s third-quarter earnings on a call with analysts and investors. 

Sadoun told MediaPost that the Groupe's client-win percentage has ramped up seventeen percentage points with accounts that place creativity, data, and technology as the core platform. "You can't win creative without media expertise and you can't win media without creative expertise. And you can't do either without technology," says Sadoun. 

“Our biggest challenge right now is accelerating our game-changers. Today, our offering of personalization at scale by linking of data, creativity and technology represents about 10% of our revenue, but it’s growing at 27% and is at the origin of most of our new business wins. The challenge is: how fast can I scale our game changers to see that kind of growth all over our business?"



Sadoun attributes the recent GSK global media win partly to the Marcel business platform as testimony to Publicis Groupe’s ongoing transformation. Marcel is now entering its next phase to expand its promising beta testing period to 1,000 users. 

“We can see how we can shift from Marcel being at the core of our transformation to Marcel being at the core of our organization, as an operating model for numerous ways to leverage talent around the world,” he says. 

Still, Sadoun recognizes that the beta testers, while representative of the Groupe, certainly represent a higher engagement rate than is to be expected at the start when the platform is rolled out globally to all 80,000 employees. “I won’t say it’s easy, but it serves as tangible proof of our value, as proven with GSK, and we understand the long-term potential as well.” 

Additional accounts awarded in the last quarter include Cathay Pacific globally, the Western Union worldwide creative budget, the Nestlé media account  in Southeast Asia, the Government of Singapore, and the Mondelez International media budget in several markets.‎ 

The EU's new privacy regulations, known as GDPR, did not impact the Groupe's Q3 financials at all, says Sadoun. "Clients may be more cautious, but things are back to normal."

Sadoun declined to comment about the ongoing FBI investigation into media-buying practices,  although he does believe "more transparency is better" for the entire industry.

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