Ceding Ownership To Local Management, Publicis Groupe Exits Russia

Publicis Groupe today said it is stopping its business and investments in Russia by ceding the ownership of its agencies to local management, effective immediately.  

The Paris-based holding company is the third major ad group to exit business operations in Russia, the result of the country's unprovoked and ongoing invasion of Ukraine. 

Interpublic announced yesterday that it was suspending operations in Russia, while WPP said earlier in the month (about a week after Russia’s initial attack) that it was discontinuing operations in the country. 

Publicis Groupe is handing over control of its Russian operations to Sergey Koptev, Founding Chairman of Publicis in Russia, “with the clear contractual condition of ensuring a future for employees there,” the company said in a statement. 



“Since the start of the invasion, we have been working on exiting Russia as we strongly condemn the unilateral aggression against Ukraine,” stated Publicis Groupe CEO Arthur Sadoun. “We were committed to taking strong actions that fully respond to the gravity of the situation. But we were determined to take the necessary time to come with a solution that was truly people-first, because our 1200 employees in Russia are our people too. We couldn’t just abandon them. By ceding control of our Russian operations to Sergey, we are securing a future path for our colleagues while immediately stopping all of our operations, engagement and investment in Russia.” 

Meanwhile, Sadoun said the company is continuing to do all that it can do for its 350 employees in Ukraine.   

“The safety of our people in Ukraine remains our number one focus. We are in daily contact with all 350 of them on an individual basis and doing everything we can to protect them. From security alert systems, to psychological and mental health support, to help with visas, or guaranteeing salaries for everyone for the entire year, we will continue to stand by their side, be exhaustive in the solutions we bring and immediate in the aid we provide” Sadoun added. 

Sadoun also issued a video to Publicis Groupe employees updating them on the decision. 




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