Publicis expands with digital commerce acquisition

Publicis Groupe has acquired digital commerce outfit Balance Internet, which will see the agency’s 90 staff and capabilities become part of the holding group’s commerce unit, led by chief product officer Jason Tonelli. The Balance Internet brand will continue, and retain its offices across Australia, Vietnam, and Ukraine.

The acquisition will make Publicis the “only holding company in Australia and New Zealand with the ability to genuinely deliver end-to-end marketing and business transformation solutions to clients”, according to CEO Michael Rebelo.

The company’s commerce unit also includes omni-channel retail solutions, and online marketplace management product Marketplace Commerce. And Publicis Sapient also offers e-commerce solutions.

“Balance Internet’s addition to Publicis Groupe’s breadth of connected capabilities and services forms part of our broader efforts to ensure that we are continually advancing solutions in key growth areas, including commerce, so that we can help unlock growth for our clients in a world dominated by platforms,” Rebelo said.

“I’m pleased to welcome the talented team at Balance Internet who for more than a decade have successfully delivered digital transformation to their clients.”


Balance, established in 2008, specialises in strategy, user experience, interface design, system integration, data analytics and customer acquisition, and uses the Magento, Adobe, and Big Commerce platforms. Its client list features Betta Home Living, Ego Pharmaceuticals, Krispy Kreme, Mitre 10 and the federal Government. The business’ directors – James Horne, David Crothers, and Mal Williams – will report to Tonelli.

“After expanding our commerce capabilities over the past 12 months through Marketplace, we are excited to bring in a leader in the specialist craft of building and managing large-scale commerce platforms for their customers, and I am looking forward to bringing Balance Internet’s services to our customer base, to enable them to capitalise on this growth,” Tonelli said of the transaction.


Balance Internet’s CEO, Horne, meanwhile, added: “We are proud of the reputation we have built as a trusted digital commerce transformation partner for many of Australia’s leading businesses. We’re delighted to join Publicis Groupe and have the backing of an organisation with a proven track record of delivering both marketing and digital business transformation for some of the leading brands across ANZ.”

His colleague, director of business operations David Crothers, said the team adds a “unique and powerful offering” to Publicis.



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