Diana Marszalek 17 Apr 2019 // 2:30AM GMT
NEW YORK — Publicis Groupe has claimed that its PR firms will reap significant benefits from its $4.4bn purchase of Epsilon, refuting skeptics questioning whether the data marketing firm and agency holding group are really a fit.
“Epsilon will fuel the entire Publicis Groupe organization, complementing its existing solutions and boosting its game changers,” the Paris-based company said in a statement to Holmes Report. That is applicable to Publicis’ PR agencies, most notably MSL, as well as the big-name advertising agencies for which it is known — Leo Burnett and Saatchi & Saatchi among them, it said.
“We will be working on a 100-day integration plan to determine all the ways that we can capitalize on their data and platform, including any specific opportunities for our various public relations companies,” Publicis said. “The opportunity is huge, as PR activity is also experiencing a lot of transformation and becoming more data-driven.”
Publicis’ statement comes two days after it announced it acquired Epsilon from Alliance Data Systems, making news for its size and scope. The move had immediate positive financial impact, sending stocks soaring, but also raised concerns that Publicis was heading for another tough situation along the lines of its acquisition of digital agency Sapient for $3.7bn in 2014.
According to CNBC, analysts question whether Epsilon and Publicis are a strategic fit, as well as whether Publicis has the ability to smoothly integrate Epsilon into its operation. The integration of Sapient took roughly three years, replete with negative fallout, and was hindered by the merging of creative and technological cultures.
Also on Sunday, Publicis reported results for Q1 2019; net revenue was up 1.7% on a reported basis and down by 1.6% on an organic basis.
In announcing the results, chairman and CEO Arthur Sadoun said those numbers are in line with expectations for the year, during which Publicis will continue a transformation that includes a new global leadership model and country-led operations.
Epsilon will play a key role in furthering that transformation, as clients increasingly are looking to agencies for both digital marketing, and the consumer data that informs campaigns, Sadoun said.
“This acquisition will accelerate the implementation of our strategy to become our clients’ preferred partner in their transformation. Realized at compelling financial terms, the transaction will make us fully equipped with truly end-to-end suite solutions to address the increasingly complex needs of our clients in a fast-changing, data-driven marketing environment,” he said.
“The Publicis Groupe will be stronger, with a balanced revenue mix across diversified expertise. We will be in a position to grasp a larger share of the marketing and business transformation market, which will significantly expand our growth opportunities.”