Don't call it a comeback, but Publicis is trying to make moves in the digital space in order to continue as a top player in the marketing and advertising business. Publicis, a holding group that has been getting more press from its failed activities than its successes, is looking to bounce back with an all-cash acquisition of Sapient to the tune of $3.7 billion.
According to the article, that equates to $25 a share, cash. A nice way to make shareholders happy.
Can Publicis use the purchase of Sapient to keep itself in positive conversation? It's possible. We mentioned earlier how Publicis is changing its leadership team, and perhaps this is a strategy the new group will use to steer Publicis in a different direction. It's no question that its previous moves have been bold, but it will be interesting to see if the new team can be both bold and meticulous.
It is constantly mentioned that another age of consolidation in AdLand is upon us, and we see it. But with consolidation, will we see innovation? Usually when this stage is set, there is an inverse relationship between innovation and consolidation. Agencies and shops need to forego what they once pioneered in order to fit the culture that the holding company prefers. Hopefully we're wrong.
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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