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Publicis Groupe S.A.
TypeSociété Anonyme
Euronext ParisPUB
CAC 40 Component
Public relations
Founded1926; 96 years ago (1926)
FounderMarcel Bleustein-Blanchet
HeadquartersParis, France
Area served
Key people
Arthur Sadoun[1]
ProductsBranding & identity
Market research
Public relations
RevenueDecrease €10.788 billion (2020)[2]
Decrease €983 million (2020)[3]
Decrease €576 million (2020)[4]
Total assetsDecrease €30.161 billion (2020)[5]
Total equityDecrease €7.160 billion (2020)[6]
Number of employees
Decrease 75,588 (Half of 2020)[7]

Publicis Groupe is a French multinational advertising and public relations company. One of the oldest and largest marketing and communications companies in the world by revenue, it is headquartered in Paris.

After 1945, the little-known Paris-based advertising agency grew rapidly, becoming the world's fourth-largest agency.[when?] It was a leader in promoting France's post-war economic boom, especially the expansion of the advertising industry; it was successful because of its close ties with top officials of the French government, its clever use of symbols to promote itself, and its ability to attract clients from widely diverse growing industries.[8]

It is one of the "Big Four" agency companies, alongside WPP, Interpublic and Omnicom.[9] Publicis Groupe S.A. is headed by Arthur Sadoun, and its agencies provide digital and traditional advertising, media services and marketing services (SAMS) to national and multinational clients.


The company was founded by 20 year old Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet in 1926.[10]

In 2011, Publicis was named the third-largest marketing group worldwide by revenue, surpassing Interpublic.[11] By the end of 2010, the twin sectors of digital activities and high-growth emerging countries represented one-half of Publicis Groupe's total revenue.

The group had operations in over 202 cities in 105 countries, including a strategic alliance with Dentsu.

In July 2012 it was announced that Publicis Groupe and Omnicom Group would merge to form Publicis Omnicom Group, but by May 2014 it was announced that the deal had fallen through and the Publicis-Omnicom merger would not happen.[12][13]

In February 2015, Publicis acquired Sapient Corporation to form Publicis.Sapient as the world's largest digital network, which at the time included SapientNitro, Sapient Consulting, DigitasLBI and RazorfishGlobal.[14]

In September 2015 The Publicis Groupe acquired South African marketing, promotions and activations agency The Creative Counsel. The acquisition was reported as the largest agency buyout ever to happen in South Africa, with an unconfirmed valuation of between R1bn and R1.5bn.[15][16][17]

In December 2015, Publicis announced a new organisation into 4 main divisions:[18]

  • Publicis Communications (gathering creative networks Leo Burnett Worldwide, Publicis Worldwide, Saatchi & Saatchi, Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH), global design and technology consultancy Nurun, and creative production group Prodigious Brand Logistics and global PR agency MSLGROUP) under the leadership of Arthur Sadoun;
  • Publicis Media (gathering the media planning & buying capabilities of Starcom Mediavest Group and ZenithOptimedia) under the leadership of Steve King;
  • Publicis.Sapient (gathering technology & digital agencies Razorfish, DigitasLBi and Sapient Corporation) under the leadership of Alan Herrick;
  • Publicis Healthcare, already in existence, will remain under the leadership of Nick Colucci.

In addition, Laura Desmond became Chief Revenue Officer, leading a team of 20 Chief Client Officers who would lead client teams across all Publicis Groupe entities. The new organisation was to be effective 1 January 2016.[19]

Since 2016, Publicis has co-organised, with Groupe Les Echos, the annual technology conference, Viva Technology.[20]

In 2017, CEO Maurice Lévy replaced Elisabeth Badinter (Bleustein-Blanchet's daughter) as chairman of the supervisory board and was succeeded as CEO by Arthur Sadoun.

On 21 January 2019, Publicis announced the deal to sell two of their Latinamerican agencies, NovaDigitas and Pixeldigital to BancroftX to form a new marketing firm under the group umbrella BancroftX.[21]

On 14 April 2019, Publicis announced a $4.4 billion deal to acquire data marketing firm Epsilon.[22]

On 4 February 2020, Publicis Groupe India announced the merging of existing agencies – Arc Worldwide, Solutions and Ecosys OOH, to create 'Publicis In-Motion'.[23] In January 2014, Publicis acquired Law & Kenneth, an Indian advertising and digital agency.[24]

On 3 May 2022 French advertising holding company Publicis Groupe acquired Profitero, an e-commerce software company that provides analytics for brands, as marketer clients are increasingly seeking services in commerce.[25]


The company owns several full-service advertising groups that undertake a range of media activities: mobile and interactive online communication, television, magazines & newspapers, cinema and radio, outdoor. The company's SAMS services include direct marketing/customer relationship management services, sales promotion, healthcare communications, multicultural and ethnic communications, corporate and financial communications, human resource infrastructure, public relations, design services, interactive communications, events marketing and management, sports marketing, and production and pre-press services.[26] Its media services include media planning, media buying, and media sales. Publicis Groupe's Vivaki[27] developed a technological platform supported by Microsoft, Google, Yahoo! and AOL Platform A technologies that offers advertisers the possibility to target specifically defined audiences in a single campaign across multiple networks.[citation needed]


Qorvis, a U.S. subsidiary of Publicis, has represented the country of Saudi Arabia since the September 11 attacks and has been accused of helping to whitewash its record on human rights.[28][29] More recently, the writer Ken Klippenstein obtained leaked documents from Qorvis, which show the PR company pitched a private company on a four to five minute propaganda video, which hoped to improve the reputation of its Homestead, Florida shelter for "unaccompanied alien children."[30][31]


As of October 2015, the main subsidiary companies of this group are:[32]


PublicisLive is a global event management and strategic communication firm founded in 1995 and has offices in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Geneva, Istanbul, Kigali and Paris. PublicisLive is part of Publicis Groupe.


  1. ^ "Publicis Groupe". Forbes.
  2. ^[bare URL PDF]
  3. ^[bare URL PDF]
  4. ^[bare URL PDF]
  5. ^ "PUB.FR | Publicis Groupe S.A. Annual Balance Sheet – WSJ".
  6. ^ "PUB.FR | Publicis Groupe S.A. Annual Balance Sheet – WSJ".
  7. ^ "Publicis Groupe". Forbes.
  8. ^ Clark Hultquist, "Publicis and the French advertising world, 1946--1968" Essays in Economic & Business History (2009) 27: 61-76.
  9. ^ Elliott, Stuart (31 March 2002). "Advertising's Big Four: It's Their World Now". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  10. ^ Garside, Juliette (28 July 2013). "Omnicom and Publicis merger creates communications giant". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  11. ^ Brand Republic. "WPP overtakes Omnicom as biggest marketing group". Retrieved 12 April 2011.
  12. ^ Channick, Robert (28 July 2013). "Leo Burnett parent in huge ad merger deal". The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  13. ^ Celles, David (8 May 2014). "At Odds, Omnicom and Publicis End Merger". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  14. ^ "SapientRazorfish Lays Off 100 in U.S. as Publicis Prepares to Retire the Brand, Sources Say". 12 July 2018. Retrieved 17 January 2019.
  15. ^ "Publicis Gets Creative". / Financial Mail. 11 September 2015. Retrieved 4 February 2021.
  16. ^ "Publicis Africa Group buys Creative Counsel in record deal". 10 September 2015. Retrieved 4 February 2021.
  17. ^ "Publicis Groupe acquires The Creative Counsel". 10 September 2015. Retrieved 4 February 2021.
  18. ^ "Publicis Groupe Unveils Major Restructuring Plan for 2016". 2 December 2015. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  19. ^ "Publicis Groupe Transformation DEF" (PDF). 2 December 2015.[dead link]
  20. ^ "Viva Technology". Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  21. ^ Margaret, Bloomberg (21 January 2019). "BANCROFTx' buys Publicis Latam agencies: deal non-discloused". Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  22. ^ Graham, Megan (15 April 2019). "Publicis' $4.4 billion acquisition of Epsilon: analysts skeptical". Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  23. ^ Tewari, Saumya (4 February 2020). "Publicis Groupe merges two agencies to create Publicis In-Motion". Retrieved 4 February 2020.
  24. ^ Nair Ghaswalla, Amrita (30 January 2014). "Publicis Groupe acquires Law & Kenneth". The Hindu Business Line.
  25. ^ Graham, Megan (3 May 2022). "Publicis Groupe Acquires E-Commerce Software Company Profitero". The Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 13 May 2022.
  26. ^ History of Digital Pre-Press Services[permanent dead link] (last checked on 11 February 2008)
  27. ^ "About – VivaKi". Archived from the original on 23 October 2016. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  28. ^ Green, Chris (17 March 2016). "PR firm accused of helping Saudi Arabia 'whitewash' its human rights record". The Independent. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  29. ^ "Supplemental Statement Pursuant to the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938" (PDF). Foreign Agents Registration Act. 5 April 2015. p. 12. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  30. ^ Inc, The Young Turks. "Saudi-Linked Lobby Group Pitched Film to Humanize Child Detention Camp". TYT Network. Retrieved 19 September 2019.
  31. ^ "Guess We'll Never Get To See 'Baby Jails: The Movie' Now". Wonkette. 9 September 2019.
  32. ^ "Publicis Groupe | Our Brands". Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  33. ^ Groupe, Publicis. "Publicis Groupe".
  34. ^ "3-SHARE – Adobe Experience Manager Experts". Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  35. ^ Groupe, Publicis. "Publicis Groupe Acquires 3|Share, Adobe Digital Marketing Experts". GlobeNewswire News Room. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  36. ^ "Rosetta is an Agency Focused on Customer Engagement". Rosetta. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  37. ^ Groupe, Publicis. "Publicis Groupe".
  38. ^ "2019 Publicis Annual financial report – Fully consolidated companies – Page 247" (PDF). Publicis Groupe. 2019. Retrieved 4 February 2021.

Further reading[edit]

  • Clark Hultquist, "Publicis and the French advertising world, 1946--1968" Essays in Economic & Business History (2009) 27: 61-76

External links[edit]