Publicis Groupe bars agencies from entering awards in 2018

Publicis Groupe has reportedly informed its staff that the company will be pulling out all awards shows in 2018 – including the Cannes Lions festival.

Arthur Sardoun, Publicis Groupe CEO

According to a leaked office memo, the global company’s new chief executive officer Arthur Sadoun has barred all of its agencies from participating in awards shows, trade shows or other paid marketing efforts for more than a year.

The internal office note written by Frank Voris, the CEO of Publicis Groupe’s financial services unit Re:Sources, the company is seeking “2.5 percent cost synergies for 2018”, according to AdWeek.

The memo is also said to have read: “No promotional events. We’re serious about that. No Cannes next year.”

The pullout is intended to move Publicis’ spend towards a new artificial intelligence-powered professional assistant platform named Marcel – which is also the name of one of Publicis’ agencies, headed up by Andrew Baxter (CEO Australia), Gavin Levinsohn (CEO Marcel Sydney) and David Nobay (creative chairman, Marcel Sydney).

The platform, which is in the process of being built, will allegedly allow the company’s 80,000 employees stay connected, identify project opportunities they want to work on in different markets and anticipate clients’ needs with predictive behaviour, Publicis announced in a YouTube video.


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