Monday, November 03, 2014

12190: Is Lévy Destroying Digital?

Advertising Age also reported on the Publicis Groupe-Sapient deal, presenting the following quote:

“Sapient is a ‘crown jewel,’ a one-of-a-kind company born in the technology space with strengths in marketing, communications, consulting and omni-channel commerce, all of which are equally important to best help clients achieve their digital transformation,” said Publicis CEO Maurice Lévy. “It will also give Publicis Groupe access to new markets and creating new revenue streams.”

Wow, Lévy really is a digital drunk—or an out-of-control john tossing money at every digital prostitute that crosses his path. If Sapient is a “crown jewel,” what does the rest of the Publicis royal crest look like? King Lévy is sporting some ugly headgear at this point.

Advertising Age called the Sapient purchase a continuation of Publicis Groupe’s strategy to gobble up digital agencies. Last April, Lévy announced plans to spend almost $4 billion over the next five years in digital acquisitions. The $3.7 billion Sapient deal will surely put him over budget with the original goal.

Last July, an interview with Campaign claimed Lévy was seeking a “diplomatic” solution to Publicis’ future; that is, he was asking his lieutenants for ideas on moving the company forward. Gotta believe any diplomatic suggestion that did not include the word “digital” was immediately pooh-poohed.

Again, Publicis Groupe has grown quite adept at purchasing digital agencies, but the French company has not yet shown it knows how to effectively integrate the shops into its overall organization. In his insane attempt to buy all things digital, Lévy may do irreparable damage to the development of the digital field.

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