Publicis group will merge its largest US digital ad agency Digitas, with its recently acquired European entity LBi, to form DigitasLBi. Headquartered in Paris, the combined venture will be led by LBi chief executive Luke Taylor, who has been appointed as DigitasLBi’s global CEO.
According to a statement issued by Publicis, the acquisition is aimed at creating “the most complete digital agency network in the world.”
“A lot of our clients are looking for global-scale players. Geographic presence is the first check mark you see on agency RFPs,” says Bob Lord, chief executive of Publicis Groupe’s Digital Technology division. “LBi brings clients into the circles that form an international perspective, including Coke, Johnson & Johnson, eBay, L’Oreal and American Express.”
DigitasLBi will comprise around 5,700 digital marketing and technology experts in 25 countries, according to Publicis, and it will provide clients with a range of services including analytics, performance marketing, e-commerce, mobile, search, CRM, and social media.
In addition, the merged entities combine other technological strengths. While Digitas’ platform provides strong capabilities in CRM, LBi’s Audience Engagement platform provides multichannel delivery. The combination of these technologies and surrounding services will allow DigitasLBi to form a unique perceptive view of the customer and distribute creative content efficiently across earned, owned and paid media channels, driving marketing effectiveness, and delivering better value to brands.
Publicis purchased LBi last year for a reported $540 million. Digitas was acquired by the holding company six years ago for $1.3 billion.
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