Publicis to launch MS&L Group division to integrate marketing services

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Publicis Groupe announced on November 16 the launch of MS&L Group, a services group that will mix various types of the holding company's firms. MS&L Worldwide, Publicis Consultants Worldwide, JKL, Winner & Associates, TMG Strategies, PBJS, Relay, Capital MS&L, Hanmer MS&L, Carré Noir, SAS, Masius and Publicis Events will make up the division.

The group, which will include a number of large PR and event agencies, seeks to create a holistic marketing service for clients. Its launch date is January 1, 2010.

This global entity, which will be tasked with providing client PR and event leadership, will be run by Olivier Fleurot, CEO of MS&L Group. He will oversee three regional presidents: Anders Kempe (Europe), Glenn Osaki (Asia) and Jim Tsokanos (Americas). Fleurot has spent the last three months re-structuring the organization.

“Coming out of this economy, we've seen a dramatic change in communications,” said Tsokanos. “Going forward, our competition will come from other PR agencies, global digital firms and ad agencies. Clients are looking for someone to deliver a whole range of communication strategies and now we're better positioned to do that.”

The structure is still taking shape, but Tsokanos said there will be a minimum of 25 global account directors in the group.

“Consumer engagement has to have two things in order to happen,” Tsokanos explained. “Marketers have to connect with consumers in ways that reach them 24/7, whether its SEO, mobile or other channels. And they also have to think of ways to physically touch the consumer and create a real experience through entertainment and live events. That's really where the puck is moving.”

As an example, Tsokanos cited an ongoing holiday campaign from Charmin, called “Charmin's NYC Restrooms,” that MS&L Worldwide designed to fit the ideal of mixing PR, marketing and live events. The toilet paper company is sponsoring 20 clean bathrooms from November 24 to January 4 in the heart of Times Square to promote its product.

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