Adweek reported Publicis Groupe will streamline operations by moving major U.S. agencies into shared offices. The holding company is positioning the action as symbolic of the organization’s “Power of One” theme, but it feels more like the power of procurement. What’s the point of investing in Marcel if everyone’s going to be in the same location? Plus, it’s another example of industry commoditization, where individual White advertising agencies are essentially generic—they all look alike. Then again, watch for Publicis to also fold their minority shops into the common buildings and call it a diversity initiative.
Publicis Groupe Is Moving All Agencies Into Shared Offices in Its Major U.S. Cities
‘Power of One’ approach continues apace
By Patrick Coffee
As part of its ongoing attempt to streamline operations around the world, Publicis Groupe announced this week that each of its agencies will combine offices in six major U.S. cities: New York, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta and San Francisco.
This means that, moving forward, every Publicis-owned company in those locations will be housed a single building.
“In the spirit of the Power of One, we strive to better serve our clients through deeper collaboration, cross-agency sharing and insight,” said a Publicis Groupe spokesperson. “As we often do, we are continually considering opportunities to consolidate our operations in major cities where it makes sense for both our clients and people.”
According to parties familiar with the matter, employees of all Publicis agencies, including Leo Burnett, Saatchi & Saatchi, BBH, Publicis Worldwide, Spark Foundry, Starcom Worldwide, SapientRazorfish, DigitasLBi and MSLGroup learned about the change on Tuesday.
The news follows an announcement in September that Saatchi & Saatchi would move out of its lower Manhattan headquarters after more than 30 years and relocate to the Publicis Groupe hub at 1675 Broadway in Midtown.
In Chicago, all Publicis entities will be located at 35 West Wacker Drive, long known as “The Leo Burnett Building.” The Boston office at 40 Water St. in Congress Square is currently the shared headquarters of DigitasLBi and SapientRazorfish, while Atlanta’s 384 Northyards Blvd. houses Moxie Interactive and the Detroit offices of Leo Burnett and MSLGroup are located at 3310 West Big Beaver Rd. in Troy, Mich. The San Francisco location does not appear to have been determined at this time.
Two people with knowledge of the moves said they were not related to any further reorganization or staffing reduction across the Publicis Groupe in North America. It is not clear whether they will have any operational affect on the individual agencies involved.
Over the past two years, the holding group has moved through several stages of restructuring, creating four global “solutions hubs” and naming a new generation of leaders including, most prominently, CEO Arthur Sadoun.
Publicis also made headlines this summer by announcing its plans to sit out the Cannes Lions and all other awards festivals in 2018. Sadoun later confirmed that his company would be back the following year after Cannes parent company Ascential agreed to certain cost-cutting measures.