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Publicis Groupe flexes its digital muscles, creates data arm – Spine

In a move to strengthen its marketing and digital business transformation, Publicis Groupe has fused together all of its data assets, technology, and talent to form Publicis Spine. 

There are three core components in Spine:

  1. Unified data matching of 1st, 2nd and 3rd party sources to create unique IDs, which inform when, where and how to engage consumers and with what message.
  2. PeopleCloud, a cloud-based platform that uses data to identify sources of client growth at the individual level. This end-to-end platform combines behavioral and semantic intelligence to inform media and creative decision making, activation, and dynamic measurement.
  3. The collective power of 3,500 engineers, analysts, and strategists from across Publicis Groupe into one centralised data and analytics team who will help clients turn data into business insight.

Publicis Spine will be helmed by Lisa Donohue as CEO. Prior to this, she had served as Starcom Global Brand President. She will be succeeded in the Starcom role by John Sheehy, formerly President, Global Clients for Publicis Media. Jason Kodish, currently Global Chief Data Scientist at DigitasLBi, will serve as Chief Data Officer of Publicis Spine, and Steve Simpson, who currently runs Publicis Media’s global Analytics and Insight practice, will serve as President of PeopleCloud, with both reporting to Donohue. Donohue will report to Arthur Sadoun, Chairman & CEO of Publicis Groupe, and Steve King, CEO, Publicis Media, and Publicis Groupe Directoire member. Sheehy will report to King. 

Meanwhile, Publicis Groupe will organise its Digital Business Transformation assets within Publicis.Sapient into industry practice verticals. Nigel Vaz will lead Digital Business Transformation efforts for Publicis Groupe, in addition to continuing in his role as CEO of Publicis.Sapient EMEA and APAC. He will be responsible for overseeing the Digital Business Transformation industry practice leaders and delivery teams to ensure that these transversal capabilities work seamlessly to help clients reinvent both their business and their category. 

Publicis Groupe is aligning DigitasLBi within Publicis Media and reporting to King. This alignment, gives DigitasLBi, a unique agency hybrid of creativity, media, data and technology, seamless access to additional scalable data and media resources. Michael Kahn will serve as Global President of DigitasLBi, a role that he takes on from Nigel Vaz. Kahn, a digital native, spent the early part of his career at e-commerce start-ups, before joining Performics in 2005, ascending to the role of Performics Global Brand President and growing the agency to 57 markets worldwide. 

David Gould, previously Chief Delivery Officer of Performics, will take on Performics Global Brand President duties, succeeding Kahn in this role. 

Commenting on the developments, Arthur Sadoun, Chairman & CEO of Publicis Groupe, said, “These moves are the natural next steps in the development of our model, further strengthening capability on both the marketing and business transformation fronts and, importantly, closely interconnecting them, fueled by all of our data expertise.” 

Steve King, CEO, Publicis Media, added here, “In today’s world, brand is the experience and the experience is the brand. These capabilities will help us unlock that potential for clients, catalysing their reinvention and growth, and creating a better experience for consumers.”

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