Just days after scrapping its $35 billion merger with Omnicom, French advertising giant Publicis has announced a multi-year partnership with Facebook.

The deal will see Publicis gain increased access to the network’s ad inventory and data and is rumoured to be worth “hundreds of millions of dollars”, with insiders quoting as much as $500 million including spending.

While the agreement will only cover business across North America, this would still mark the largest ever agreement between an advertising agency and technology firm to date.

Both parties have refused to comment on the terms and conditions of their new partnership, leaving many to speculate over the duration and price of the deal. However, representatives from Facebook and the Publicis-owned Starcom MediaVest Group have provided some hints as to why the two have joined forces.

Ad improvements

The deal has been hailed as a “new breed” of partnership between agency networks and publishers.

Reports suggest part of the plans will see Facebook’s data come under the examination of Publicis’s media-mix modelling platform, enabling the co-production of new ad content.

Patrick Harris, director of global agency of development at Facebook, confirmed that an improvement to ad offerings on the network and its photo-sharing service Instagram could be on the cards.

“Agencies, brands and Facebook all have one common goal: to make great ads and put them in front of the right people,” he commented.

“Our work with Publicis will center on bringing clients closer to our products and creating new planning and measurement tools to make buying easier, more efficient and ultimately prove out return on investment.”  

In return, it is thought that Publicis, as well as its agencies and its clients, including Procter & Gamble, Walmart and Coca-Cola, will receive favourable rates on certain Facebook ad products. However this is yet to be confirmed by either party.

Wrapped up

The news comes in light of a collapse for the proposed merger between US-based Omnicom and France’s Publicis. Rumoured to be worth $35 billion, the deal reportedly broke down due to a plethora of “complex issues” including disagreements around boardroom personnel and losses suffered by both parties as talks dragged on.

Facebook on the other hand has been far more successful with its recent negotiations.

An insider familiar with the deal between Publicis and Facebook says the first round of talks took place as early as November – just months before the social network agreed a deal with Russian search engine Yandex to provide access to its data.

The move has enabled Yandex to integrate publically-shared Facebook posts and comments into its search results – a technique which had been touted to boost traffic for the network in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan.