French multinational advertising and PR agency, the Publicis Groupe, will merge two of its brands to form a fresh global entity.
The Paris headquartered company, which owns many well-known businesses such as advertising agency network Saatchi & Saatchi, digital and media agency Rosetta, and interactive agency Razorfish, called the amalgamation of Digitas and LBi an ‘essential landmark’.
Publicis said the new 'DigitasLBi' brand will create a leading, fully integrated global digital agency network, with digital marketing and technology capabilities at the core.
Chairman and CEO of the Publicis Groupe, Maurice Lévy, said: “Advertisers need a truly integrated and global digital network that can anticipate trends and forecast the ‘next’, while constantly innovating in our ever-changing world.”
Publicis, which is listed on the Paris Stock Exchange, bought the US-founded ad agency, Digitas, in 2007 for $1.3 billion. As detailed by A4u last year, Publicis then added the Amsterdam-based global marketing and technology agency, LBi, to its books - after a €416 million cash acquisition.
A New Global Offering
Bosses at Publicis say that by leveraging the longstanding dominance of Digitas in the USA, where it is the largest digital agency, together with LBi’s strong position in Europe, the move naturally creates a truly integrated global offering.
DigitasLBi will comprise of 5,700 employees across 25 countries and clients include American Express, Coca-Cola, Delta, eBay, L’Oréal, Johnson & Johnson, Mondelez P&G;, Nissan, Sprint and Starbucks.
The new venture will be led by current LBi chief executive Luke Taylor, who will take the reins as global CEO of DigitasLBi. He will report directly to the CEO of Publicis Groupe’s digital technology division, Bob Lord.
DigitasLBi aims to provide clients with expertise across a range of digital disciplines, including performance marketing, strategy and analytics, service design, e-commerce, brand strategy, mobile, market research and more.
The creation of DigitasLBi will not affect social media agency MRY, which will remain a standalone entity under the leadership of founder and chief executive Matt Britton.