Publicis Groupe Cuts Freelance, Other Outsourced Work

Publicis Groupe’s CEO Arthur Sadoun pledged on Sunday to pay for employees to be reunited with their families if they are not based nearby. He also announced that budgets for freelancers and other outsourced work are being cut in a bid to control costs during the pandemic. 

“In this moment, we care not only about the health, but also the well-being of our people, Sadoun said in a video message sent globally to the company’s 80,000-plus workforce on Sunday. Currently 95% of the Groupe is working remotely. 

“Do not go outside,” he emphatically stated. “Stay home.” However for those people currently working in locations that are not “home,” the Groupe has created a new program to underwrite the cost for those employees to return to be with their families. “Publicis will pay for your ticket if you want to come back to see and be near your family,” Sadoun said.



In the nearly eight-minute video, Sadoun delves into details of the earlier initiatives announced last week in light of the global COVID-19 pandemic. “As you can imagine, we have two priorities right now: the health and wellness of our people, and our client commitments,” he explains.

The Groupe held ten 90-minute interactive video conference calls last Thursday and Friday, to brief and field questions from 3,000 managers.  Sadoun intends to hold additional sessions every two weeks. “Now more than ever we need to keep communication flowing,” he says.

To help control costs the Groupe is foregoing working with freelancers or third parties for the foreseeable future. “Everything you need is found within our company,” Sadoun said in the video.  With the Groupe’s “Power of One” country model there are no P&L silos between agencies providing the ability to move employees from one agency to another depending on local needs. “It is time to activate all of our resources,” he said.

Sadoun confirmed that some of its agencies in China are reopening offices. In other marketers Groupe teams are continuing to work with clients and pitch for new clients by videoconference.


2 comments about "Publicis Groupe Cuts Freelance, Other Outsourced Work".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Henry Blaufox from Dragon360, March 24, 2020 at 8:11 a.m.

    This could be another example of events outrunning business plans. How to get the separated staff home when air and rail travel is restricted in more and more countries? What's the risk of catching or spreading Covid in the course of travel?

  2. Julia Angelen Joy from Z Group PR, March 24, 2020 at 3:26 p.m.

    The CEO’s job is to be in control of the situation, along with management, to present information to employees and clients in the calmest manner possible. I think this is an excellent example of that. It is vitally important that all organizations have these conversations now and begin to review the business from every angle and be prepared to deal with them. We will likely see more layoffs in the coming weeks and clear, concise communication internally and externally is vital.

Next story loading loading..