Publicis Groupe launches new digitally focused entity

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Maurice Lévy
Maurice Lévy

With the goal of better integrating the digital capabilities of its agencies, Publicis Groupe has launched a new entity, VivaKi.


According to Publicis, the launch of VivaKi reflects the company's “conviction that a totally new and more integrated organization of the media, interactive, analog and digital universes is necessary in order to leverage scale and technological innovation.”


VivaKi (roughly translated as “life” and “energy flow”) will use Publicis agencies Digitas, Starcom MediaVest, Denuo and ZenithOptimedia to develop new tools, services and partnerships. While these agencies will continue to work independently on solutions tailored to their specific clients, they will be supported by VivaKi, Publicis said. The new entity will also offer new training and career development programs through its talent development platform.

“[VivaKi] is hugely important as a support unit, helping brands to be more effective and make bigger contributions to the clients each of them have on their roster,” said Jack Klues, current chairman of Publicis Groupe Media, when reached by phone today by DMNews.

Klues and David Kenny, chairman and CEO of Digitas, will be managing partners of the new entity. In their new positions at VivaKi, Kenny will focus on initiatives aimed at leveraging the scale of the media group through various alliances and Klues will be responsible for developing brand-specific solutions, the company said.

As a result of this management change, Laura Lang, CEO of Digitas USA, has been promoted to Worldwide CEO of Digitas, filling Kenny's former position.  


Curt Hecht will head the VivaKi Nerve Center, which the media group described as the “heart” of the new entity. The Nerve Center will focus on objectives related to innovation, including developing new technologies and providing best solutions.


Renetta McCann, who recently stepped down as global CEO of Starcom MediaVest Group, will “organize and activate” the talent development platform.


“There's often not enough talent in the market that understands how to take full use the newer age tools and techniques,” Klues said. And too often, employees are treated all the same, he added. “We want our VivaKi talent unit to be much more forward thinking and much more appreciative that not all employees are alike and their needs are not all alike.”


As part of this new initiative, the media group has also created an open source audience on-demand network. The network will build upon tools provided by Microsoft, Google, Yahoo and Platform-A. According to the company, it will allow Publicis Groupe to target specific global audiences in a single campaign buy across multiple networks. In addition, the media group said it would also work with Yahoo on technology initiatives in mobile advertising.


Maurice Levy, chairman and CEO of Publicis, said in a statement, “We are today taking a decisive and transformational step by profoundly modifying the Groupe's organization, by redirecting investments toward digital and by instituting a significant change in our professional approach.”


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