Publicis Groupe

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Paris-based Publicis Groupe is one of the 'big six' advertising and media services conglomerates.

Its activities include creative advertising, media and campaign planning, public relations and marketing. The group operates in Europe,Asia, the Americas and other parts of the world through through two networks - Saatchi & Saatchi (acquired in 2000) and Publicis Worldwide - and standalone units such as Nelson Communications. It boasts 170 offices in over 100 countries, with around 38,000 employees.

Japanese print and advertising group Dentsu has a substantial stake (15% as of May 2002) in Publicis.

On April 9, 2007, in "Report Shows Klues Third Highest Paid Publicis Exec At $2.5 Million", Joe Mandese of Media Daily News wrote [1], "With a salary of $1 million and a bonus of $1.5 million during 2006, Publics Groupe Media chief Jack Klues appears to be the media buying world's highest paid executive, according to details of an annual report released Saturday by Publicis Groupe.....According to the report, media operations accounted for 26% of the company's revenues during 2006; and Klues presided over operations that accounted for about 22% of Publicis' worldwide organization of 39,939 employees."


The group dates from 1926, when Publicis was founded in Paris by Marcel Bleustein as a print advertising agency. It expanded into radio advertising (including operation of France's first commercial station prior to 1939) and operation of a chain of cinemas. After 1946 it expanded into the UK and Germany before buying existing advertising groups based in the US and creating new groups.

In March 2002 Publicis, Bcom3 and Dentsu announced agreement about merger of Publicis and Bcom3 (in practice a US$3 billion takeover by Paris) to create the world's fourth largest advertising group in the world. A "strategic, long-term partnership" between Dentsu (which had held 21% of Bcom3) and Publicis was announced at that time.

Bcom3 encompassed Leo Burnett, D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, Manning Selvage & Lee, Bartle Bogle Hegarty, and Starcom MediaVest.

The expectation was that the expanded group would gain 49% of its US$4 billion revenues from North America, 37% from Europe and 14% from Japan and the rest of the world. It would be the largest advertising group in Europe and third largest in the US.

Global player

According to

Publicis Groupe has forced its way into the top ranks of the world's leading marketing organisations through a string of canny acquisitions. Having learned painful lessons from a disastrous and short-lived alliance with FCB during the 1990s, the group's acquisition of Saatchi & Saatchi in 2000 proved far more harmonious. Even more impressive was the agreed takeover of Bcom3 two years later, which gave the French group a strong position in both the US and Japanese markets. After a shaky start, Publicis has shown itself to be a worthy rival to established giants WPP and Omnicom. Advertising Age rank Publicis Groupe as the 4th ad organisation worldwide in 2004 with revenues of $4.8bn.

Public Relations subsidiaries

Acquired a 50.1% stake in Freud Communications in June 2005.



Other SourceWatch resources

Further reading


  • Ivan Fallon The Brothers: The Saatchi & Saatchi Story (Chicago: Contemporary 1989).
  • Kevin Goldman Conflicting Accounts: The Creation and Crash of the Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising Empire (New York: Simon & Schuster 1997).
  • Philip Kleinman's The Saatchi and Saatchi story (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson 1989).
  • Alison Fendley Saatchi & Saatchi: The Inside Story (New York: Arcade 1996).
  • Rita Hatton & John Walker, Supercollector: A Critique of Charles Saatchi, (London: Ellipsis 2000).


Wikipedia also has an article on Publicis Groupe. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.