Digital agency Pusher moves in with Publicis Worldwide Australia

Pusher's Hopwood and Crebar and Publicis CEO Baxter

Pusher’s Hopwood and Crebar and Publicis CEO Baxter

Digital agency Pusher has entered into an agreement with Publicis Worldwide which sees management and staff move into the Publicis offices in Sydney and Brisbane to work across Publicis clients whilst retaining the agency’s own name and open up a Melbourne office off the back of a new client win.

Speaking to Mumbrella on the move, Pusher founder Michael Crebar said the move would see the agency working closely with, in particular, the struggling Publicis Mojo creative agency, adding: “We aren’t just sharing a workspace. We have joined forces with them.”

The arrangement sees Pusher working for Publicis Worldwide Australia under a commercial arrangement which allows the digital agency to keep its name while becoming part of the Publicis Worldwide Australia group, with Publicis and Pusher cagey about calling it an acquisition.

Two weeks ago Publicis Groupe said it was in the process of acquiring the Sapient Group, which includes the Sapient Nitro digital agency, in a $4.2bn deal, as the network looks to boost its credentials in the space. It is unclear how that will impact locally as yet.“We are who we are and that’s not going to change. Rather we see this as a strategic move to bolster the Pusher team and the Publicis team,” Crebar said.

“None of our Pusher clients are going to change. They’ve all been brought across and are really excited by it.”

Pusher clients include Footlocker, Mantra Hotels, GSK, The Federal Government, Surfstitch, Destination NSW and Think Education.

On how they will approach future pitches, Crebar said Pusher will pitch under its name for digital accounts.

“If we are pitching on integrated accounts Pusher will pitch on digital and Publicis will take the traditional role of what they do well,” he said.

The move has seen Pusher’s 17 Sydney staff and eight Brisbane staff move into the Publicis offices, with two staff members opening an office in Melbourne off the back of a client win Crebar declined to divulge.

Pusher will also continue to be managed by founders Crebar and Kim Hopwood who will report to Publicis’ CEO Andrew Baxter.

The arrangement follows a similar one with CRM business Cubed and mobile specialists Front Foot as the business diversifies its offering.

On the arrangement Baxter said in a statement: “Pusher’s capabilities and track record are first class by any standards, delivering strong results with the digital and social campaigns they’ve created for their clients.

“Their arrival within our group is a perfect complement to our existing digital capabilities and means that the Publicis Sydney team is now close to 50 per cent digital, which is exactly the shape you want an agency to be heading into 2015.”

Miranda Ward


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