Publicis has dissolved the national leadership of digital agency brand Modem USA. From now on, Modem's regional offices in New York, Connecticut, and San Francisco will report to Publicis agency offices in those regions. The whole will continue to be led by Susan Gianinno, CEO of Publicis Worldwide in the USA.
In San Francisco, Publicis Modem teams have been integrated with Publicis & Hal Riney, reporting to recently named Riney CEO Harold Sogard. In New York, Modem continues to maintain an office separate from Publicis New York, but employees from both Publicis and Modem work together in both buildings.
The new structure came to light today with word that Publicis Modem USA President Dani Nadel is leaving the agency for a client-side gig with Scholastic - and is not being replaced. “Dani has been a valued member of the Publicis Modem team, and an important agent in fostering a digital culture throughout Publicis USA," Gianinno said in a statement. AgencySpy first reported her departure.
The situation is somewhat complicated by the fact that Publicis is the name of both a global agency and its French holding company parent. Publicis Groupe (the holding company) picked up Modem as part of its 2006 acquisition of Digitas and made the decision to separate it from Digitas and align it instead with Publicis Worldwide (the agency network). According to ClickZ sources, the relationship in the U.S. has sometimes been a tough one, with Modem not always receiving the hoped for digital assignments from big Publicis accounts.
However, a spokesperson said the relationship is working. Modem will continue to directly service clients like General Mills and Sanofi while sharing clients with Publicis New York including Citi, Hilton, and L'Oreal.
Nadel's exit and the new structure comes on the heels of a rocky period for Modem East. Earlier this year, the agency lost or let go more than 10 VP and director-level staffers. At the time, sources told ClickZ Modem was under pressure to improve its creative, social, and analytics services.
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March 19, 2014