2019 Annual financial report

1.3 Activities and strategy

Chapter 1. Presentation of the group

1.3 Activities and strategy


1.3.1 Introduction

Publicis is a world leader in marketing, communications and digital business transformation.It was established in 1926 when Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet created what was essentially a startup. Publicis now has offices in more than 100 countries and over 83,000 staff.

The passion that Marcel felt for communications and the creation of strong relations between brand names and consumers transformed this new business into a prosperous and respected profession. The Group has never stood still, continuing to grow, innovate and transform for more than 90 years. The core values dear to its founder’s heart have continued to inform everything we do: respect, honest products, customer satisfaction, quality and creativity, together with a pioneering spirit, unwavering conviction and the ethical values inherited from his legendary fighting spirit.

1.3.2 Strategy

Publicis Groupe is the third largest communications group in the world(1) present across the value chain from consulting to creation and execution, combining the marketing and digital business transformation. Publicis Groupe is positioned as the goto partner for our clients’ transformation as they seek to create personalization at scale , in a world increasingly dominated by platforms. Our talent is organized into 10 areas of expertise in four main business lines: Communication, Media, Data, and Technology. Publicis Groupe serves its clients through a unified and fluid organization that facilitates access to all its expertise in all its markets

Our model has always been client-focused. Our clients, companies, are faced with enormous challenges, but also tremendous opportunities: mobile and digital technologies have changed everything, transferring power to consumers and facilitating the emergence of new competitors. Relations between our clients and their existing or potential customers have been turned upside down by the revolution in media. The explosion of the Internet has gone hand in hand with the omnipresence of platforms and social media: Google, Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, and Twitter—to name but a few. How we consume has shifted drastically as one-click access to products becomes the norm, which favors the emergence of e-commerce platforms. Direct-to-consumer brands are the newest arrivals, born on the web and creating a need for their well-established rivals to build direct relationships with their customers. The development of Walled Gardens creates new advertising ecosystems in which clients have only very limited access to data. Mining increasingly diverse data sources, from both the Internet and the physical world, also raises a raft of new questions for companies, chief among them being peoples’ right to privacy. Companies are seeking to grow the value of their brand name in a digital universe where differentiation is key, while operating in markets characterized by low growth and relentless pressure on costs

Publicis was quick to act in this changing world and moved early to undertake a major transformation to offer its clients ever more tailored, innovative and efficient solutions. Since 2006, the Group has focused on developing its digital business, notably with the Digitas, Razorfish, Rosetta and LBi acquisitions. The 2014 acquisition of Sapient positions the Group as the ideal partner for companies in their digital transformations, placing consumer needs and the client experience front and center.

2019 was a pivotal year for the Group with the acquisition of Epsilon, the marketing Big Data specialist. Epsilon has the technology and platforms to structure client first-party data , round it out with an incomparably diverse range of data sources and put together personalized campaigns at scale

(1) Source = Competition – Section 1.3.7.