Publicis Groupe is buying Rauxa, a 20-year-old full-service marketing agency with offices in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Dallas. Founded in 1999, the 300+ person agency reported net revenue of around $70 million in 2018 with a client roster including Verizon, Samsung, Alaska Airlines, Vans and Celgene.
This deal follows the moves of holding company rivals to up their precision marketing capabilities. Interpublic spent $2 billion to scoop up Acxiom Marketing Systems last year, while Dentsu Aegis purchased Merkle in 2016 for a reported $1.5 billion.
The Department of Justice has informed five ad holding companies that it is no longer investigating any of their subsidiaries as part of a probe into commercial production practices and possible bid-rigging that began in 2016. Interpublic Group, Omnicom, Publicis Groupe, WPP and MDC Partners all confirmed the DOJ has notified them that the investigation has concluded with regard to any and all of their respective entities. No action has been taken against the firms or their employees.
At a time when it seems there are more opportunities to advertise than ever before, one of Madison Avenue’s most visionary futurists, Publicis Groupe’s Rishad Tobaccowala, predicts the ability of advertising to actually reach consumers will decline “20% to 30%” over the next five years.
All four of the major holding companies — WPP, Interpublic, Omnicom and Publicis Groupe — have now acknowledged that subsidiaries within their respective folds have been subpoenaed by the U.S. Department of Justice in connection with its ongoing inquiry into commercial production practices.
Publicis Groupe SA today agreed to pay $3.7 billion for Sapient Corp., pushing the third-largest advertising company deeper into digital offerings and the U.S. as it moves past a failed merger with Omnicom Group Inc.
The companies issued a joint statement late Thursday saying they mutually agreed to call off the $35 billion deal that would have created the world’s largest advertising agency because they were not able to complete the merger in a reasonable time frame.
The combined company will be called Publicis Omnicom Group and be jointly led by Omnicom CEO John Wren and Publicis CEO Maurice Levy as co-chief executives. Omnicom Group Inc., based in New York, owns BBDO Worldwide, DDB Worldwide Communications Group and TBWA Worldwide, among other agencies. Paris-based Publicis Groupe SA runs its namesake agency as well as Leo Burnett Worldwide, Saatchi & Saatchi and DigitasLBi. Their merger creates a company with combined annual revenue of about $23 billion, leapfrogging it over current London-based industry leader WPP PLC.
SMG will continue to support Comcast Cable and add the NBCUniversal theme parks to its portfolio. Maxus will support NBCUniversal’s domestic properties, while GroupM’s MediaCom will continue to represent the company’s media interests outside the U.S.