Careers at Publicis Groupe
Publicis Groupe’s mission is to be the world leader in sustainable value creation through imaginative ideas and connections that build business with empowered people everywhere.
Publicis Groupe is an advertising and public relations firm. The company operates four reportable business segments:
- Publicis Communications – Includes creative networks Publicis Worldwide, Leo Burnett Worldwide, Bartle Bogle Hegarty, and Saatchi & Saatchi; creative production group Prodigious Brand Logistics; design and technology consulting firm Nurun; and PR agency MSLGROUP.
- Publicis Media – Includes media planning and buying firms ZenithOptimedia and Starcom Mediavest Group.
- Publicis.Sapient - Includes technology/digital agencies DigitasLBi, Razorfish, and Sapient Corporation.
- Publicis Healthcare - Includes healthcare communications agencies Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness, Discovery, Digitas Health LifeBrands, Publicis Life Brands, Publicis Touchpoint Solutions, Publicis Health Media, and in-sync Strategy.
Marcel Bleustein was a salesman at his family’s furniture business in Paris. At age 20 he sought independence, and launched an advertising firm using his savings of 40,000 francs, armed with his sales knowledge. He called it Publicis, a combination of the French word for advertising (“publicité“) and the French word for six, his favorite number and the last digit of the firm‘s founding year (1926).
Publicis was only the fourth-ever advertising agency in France. The industry was looked down upon in the country at the time due to a history of deception among its practitioners. Because of this, Bleustein adopted two rules for his services: products must be completely visible, and they must be depicted as they are in real life. He began looking for clients, literally knocking on doors in his area.
Facing difficulty, Bleustein caught a break when his mother touted his offering to the owner of Comptoir Cardinet, who agreed to let him design an ad. He created promotions for two products, a clock and a silver set. Within two days of the ad’s publication, Comptoir Cardinet sold 12 clocks and 15 silver sets. Publicis soon attained high-profile customers Brunswick, André Shoes, and Lévitan.
By 1929, the company’s staff had tripled and transferred to bigger offices, and Bleustein was a millionaire. His next step was to move into radio advertising, which was also a big success, with Publicis becoming the largest provider of that type of service in the country. The firm went public in 1970. It was eventually viewed as the most modern French ad agency and a leader in the industry.
Business model of Publicis Groupe
Publicis Groupe has a mass market business model, with no significant differentiation between customers. The company targets its offerings at firms of all industries and sizes that seek advertising and public relations services.
Publicis Groupe offers two primary value propositions: innovation and brand/status.
The company has a long history of innovation with many firsts, including the following:
- Rolled out one of the first ads to use a symbolic emblem to promote a product, rather than the product itself
- Introduced concept of institutional advertising, in which a firm discussed its business and manufacturing techniques, instead of its products
- Conductor of the first public opinion poll (similar to Gallup) in France
- Owner of the first radio station to establish regular news broadcasts in France
The company has established a powerful brand as a result of its success. It is one of the “Big Four” ad agencies along with Omnicom, WPP, and Interpublic. It is the third largest communications group in the world by revenues, with 2015 earnings of €9.6 billion. It has over 1,375 sub-agencies and employs over 77,000 professionals in 108 countries. It has several prominent clients, including Best Buy, Comcast, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Honda, and Kraft. Lastly, it has won many honors, including “Holding Company of the Year” at the North American Effie Awards (2014), a #1 ranking in Creative Performance by the Gunn Report, and 16 Health Lions at the inaugural Lions Health Awards (2014).
Publicis Groupe’s main channel is its website. The company promotes its offering through its social media pages, advertising, and participation in conferences.
Publicis Groupe’s customer relationship is primarily of a personal assistance nature. Customers work closely with employees as they design their advertising and PR campaigns.
Publicis Groupe’s business model entails designing and developing its services for clients.
Publicis Groupe maintains strategic partnerships with a number of major firms; for example:
- An alliance with Wal-Mart through which the retailer has complete access to all of its agencies and resources. The two partner on various marketing and advertising efforts
- An alliance with Internet giant Tencent through which the two share data, partner on the development of web native content, and invest in startups
The company also operates Publicis90, a program through which it will support 90 startups involved in digital projects with funding and mentoring. Specifically, it will offer equity funding ranging in the amount of 10,000 – 500,000 euros and a year of mentoring with company experts in the digital, marketing, and communication fields.
Publicis Groupe’s main resources are its human resources, who include content creators such as writers and artists who design and develop campaigns for clients.
The company also depends on its Shared Service Centers, which offer specialized financial services for internal clients in order to ensure the conformity of operations related to their activities.
Publicis Groupe has a value-driven structure, aiming to provide a premium proposition through significant personal service. Its biggest cost driver is likely cost of services, a variable expense. Other major drivers are in the areas of sales/marketing and administration.
Publicis Groupe has one revenue stream: the fees it charges for its advertising and PR services.
info: Maurice earned a Master’s degree at New Jersey City University. He previously served as Director of Information Technology at Publicis Groupe. He serves as the Chairman of the Board for several organizations, including the Pasteur–Weizmann Institute.
info: Laura earned a BBA in Marketing at the University of Iowa Business School. She previously served as the Chief Executive Officer of Starcom Mediavest Group. She also acts as the Chair of the Ad Council Board and sits on the Adobe Systems Board of Directors.
info: Jean-Michel previously served as Chief Financial Officer of Saatchi & Saatchi Group, as Senior Vice President and European Chief Financial Officer of CarnaudMetalbox, and as an auditor at PricewaterhouseCoopers.
info: Olivier earned a Master of Science from Ecole Nationale Superieure des Mines, Saint Etienne. He previously served as Executive VP of Publicis Worldwide, CEO of MSLGROUP, Managing Director and CEO of the Financial Times, and CEO of Les Echos.
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