In the last decade, ad holding companies touted the idea of “unbundling” their services, allowing clients to pick and choose their creative, media buying and planning, branding and other marketing tools from an a la carte menu. The idea was that each service would be compete to be the best in breed, as opposed to playing a strictly supporting role. Now, with the growing demand from marketers and media companies to complete multi-platform deals that encompass TV, print, product placement and digital executions, holding companies have swung back to the concept of the tight-knit, one-stop shop.
Publicis Groupe, the ad industry’s fourth largest holding company, has come up with another way to re-emphasize the “holistic” approach. An IHT piece says that Publicis is creating a new group designed to streamline its creative, media buying and interactive work, respectively drawing on individuals within its Leo Burnett agency, Starcom and Digitas units. WSJ reports that the new formation is being called the Insight Factory. The official announcement is expected to come on Tuesday.
An unidentified Publicis source tells IHT that the three units will not be foisted upon clients automatically. They will still retain their own identities, with some employees drafted from each unit to work on the new venture full time. These individuals will form a committee that will decide on how to approach new and existing clients with the offer of unified services.
Back in May, Publicis formed a global digital ad network called Publicis Modem, which was intended to spread the benefits of its $1.3 billion purchase of Digitas in December. Now that its interactive arm has global reach, Publicis hopes it can now make it easier to extend that arm to its creative and media buying clients. As the IHT article points out, Publicis was recently awarded Samsung Electronics media account, while Leo Burnett had already been handling creative for South Korean company. it makes sense to try to provide digital services to Samsung as well.
Aside from client demands, Publicis also knows that its larger rivals – WPP Group has been particularly aggressive in this area for years -are also looking for ways to more tightly integrate their digital services with their more traditional offerings.