Mercerbell and Performics merge with Julie Dormand to depart after 20 years

Publicis Groupe’s customer experience agency Mercerbell will merge with performance marketing agency Performics to form a new agency, Performics Mercerbell.

CEO of Perfomics, Jason Tonelli, will lead the new agency as chief executive, while Mercerbell CEO, Julie Dormand will depart after 20 years with the agency.

Tonelli’s position with Publicis Groupe was expanded in March, adding the additional role of chief product officer to his remit.

Jason Tonelli will be CEO of the new Performics Mercerbell agency

The merger follows the departure of Mercerbell’s founders, David Bell and Nick Mercer, within two months of each other in December 2019 and January this year.

The pair founded the agency in 1999 and sold to Saatchi & Saatchi, part of the Publicis Groupe, in February 2016.

Dormand was promoted from managing director to CEO in October 2018, when Mercer took on the role of agency chairman.

Publicis Groupe’s ANZ CEO, Michael Rebelo, said the merger responded to client demand for combined behavioural science solutions with intent-based media capabilities.

“Through the fusion of Performics and Mercerbell, we’re combining the science of intent and powerful creativity to deliver measurable change to clients’ businesses. It’s a unique alchemy that will further amplify the market-leading capabilities of both agencies,” Rebelo said.

“As a technology company at heart, Performics has the ability to leverage years of academic research on consumer intent in order to influence people’s purchasing behaviours and drive revenue for clients.  At Mercerbell, the team are experts at creating experiences that change behaviour. Not only is there an obvious synergy between the two, but when you bring performance and experience, or intent and creative together, it creates a multiplier effect.”

The inspiration for the merger was also attributed to the joint appointment of Mercerbell and Performics by Collective Wellness Group’s Anytime Fitness in November last year. Together the agencies have been working on the brand’s omnichannel marketing strategy across both B2B and B2B2C. The two agencies also work for Toyota Financial Services.

Tonelli said Performics Mercerbell will be a ‘potent’ presence in market.

“As our customers increasingly look for one solution across media and creative, the coming together of the Mercerbell behavioural science creative approach and Performics’ intent-based media capability presents a potent combination for the market,” he said.

“I could not be more excited to be working with a fantastic leadership team and an amazingly talented group of people to deliver intent-powered ideas for our customers and beyond.”

The new Performics Mercerbell team will have 80 staff across offices in Sydney and Melbourne. Mumbrella was told no redundancies would come as a result of the merger.

Mercerbell’s CEO Julie Dormand will depart

Speaking on Dormand’s departure, Rebelo noted the trust and respect she had gained in the industry.

“The passion and dedication Julie has invested into Mercerbell over the years has earnt her the respect and trust of her many peers, as she has progressed through the ranks to CEO,” he said.

“I appreciate her desire to seek out a new challenge, and I’d like to thank Julie for her contribution and leadership, and wish her great success in her next venture.”

Dormand said it was “time to start a new journey”.

“I’m honoured to have been part of creating Australia’s first CX agency, joining Publicis Groupe, and more recently helping transition the team to the exciting new Performics Mercerbell proposition,” she said.

“The new agency will deliver even more insight, capability and best-in-class performance media. The awesome leadership team have come together to deliver on this exciting future. Jason Tonelli – the team are lucky to have you guide them into the future. I have no doubt about the future success of Performics Mercerbell, and I will be the first person cheering on the team as they grow.

“Thank you to Nick Mercer, David Bell and Mike Rebelo for believing in me.”

Mercerbell’s clients include American Express, Nestle Purina, Lion beer brands, Pernod Ricard, Qantas and Caltex. Performics works with Lenovo, Red Energy, Lumo Energy and


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