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Publicis Media tipped to look for Australian head, amid shake-up for local agency brands

Publicis MediaGlobal advertising holding group Publicis is set to begin looking for a local Australian boss, after the group announced a global media restructure which is likely to see a shake-up to the local brands of some of the Australia’s major media agencies.

Under the changes Publicis has confirmed it will dump the Starcom Mediavest Group and ZenithOptimedia brands in favour of four brands globally: Starcom, Zenith, Mediavest/Sparks, Optimedia/Blue 449.

Mumbrella also understands that Publicis is likely to begin a search for search a new country head for the group, in a similar model to what rivals GroupM, IPG Mediabrands and Omnicom have done. 

Nolan: a potential contender for the country head role.

Nolan: a potential contender for the country head role.

Locally Publicis’ agencies did not want comment on the precise implications of today’s announcement but it is thought that Starcom Mediavest CEO Chris Nolan or Match Media CEO John Preston would be among the potential frontrunners for an Australian media head role.

In this market, Publicis’s media agencies currently include: Starcom – headed by Toby Barbour; Mediavest – headed by Sue Squillace; ZenithOptimedia -headed by Matt James; and Match Media – headed by John Preston.

Publicis bought Match Media last year and aligned it with its new Blue 449 network, with CEO Preston conceding at the time of the sale that a rebrand was on the cards in the medium- to long-term.

The full local implications at this stage are unclear but Publicis did make clear it would move to a a flatter organisational structure.

Steve King, CEO of Publicis Media, globally, said in a statement: “Publicis Media is a fresh opportunity to simplify our organisation, invent more modern approaches to gain efficiency, introduce structures for greater collaboration and effectiveness, and drive new levels of scale and client value”.

Under the changes, the trading brand Vivaki’s capabilities will be integrated across Publicis Media’s agencies.

“The new Publicis Media imagined by Steve King is fully equipped to fit the future and best serve our clients,” said Maurice Lévy, Chairman & CEO, Publicis Groupe.

“A leaner and simpler structure will bring more value to our clients and will further accelerate our growth.”

Publicis Media’s structure will cover top 20 markets, organised by three regions, led by Tim Jones, regional CEO for the Americas; Iain Jacob, regional CEO for EMEA, and Gerry Boyle, regional CEO for APAC.

Nic Christensen 

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