Publicis (PUBGY), the world's #3 ad holding company, has struck a multi-year deal with Facebook (FB +2.1%) that involves a "co-creation of [ad] product around data, video and images, including core Facebook and Instagram."
AdAge reports the deal is worth $500M, and notes it's "easily the largest yet between an agency holding company and a tech company." Publicis' clients (through its holding companies) include major brands such as Coca-Cola, P&G, and Verizon.
Facebook ad VP Carolyn Everson states the deal is "the first time we have all of the different elements that will allow clients to reach a significant scale of 100 million people a day in the U.S. and [specific] audiences within the 100 million." It was only two weeks ago that Facebook rolled out advanced audience data tools for advertisers.
Instagram announced its first major ad agency deal in March - a $100M tie-up with former Publicis merger partner Omnicom.
Numerous problems had beset the "merger of equals," including obtaining tax and other regulatory approvals, differences over which executives would take leading positions - particularly the job of CFO - and which company would be listed as the legal acquirer of the other.
No termination fees are being paid by either side.
The ending of the merger leaves WPP (WPPGF) as the world's largest advertising company.
The "merger of equals" had been challenged by difficulties in getting tax and other regulatory approvals, as well as differences over which executives would fill top roles and which company would be listed as the legal acquirer of the other (earlier).
Personal battles over position and power are threatening the planned merger of equals by ad firms Omnicom (OMC) and Publicis (PUBGY), as sources say frayed personal relationships - in addition to legal and tax issues in Europe - are delaying the completion of the deal, first announced last summer.
Among various conflicts, the two sides haven't yet agreed on which company will be the legal acquirer of the other, and they disagree over who will fill the CFO position and other senior jobs.
In recent days, the companies have been sending starkly different messages about the status of the merger - to the extent that the CEO of rival WPP (WPPGY) says the deal is doomed.
Havas (HAVSF.PK) CEO David Jones: "The deal is "an industrial merger in the digital age," he says. "Clients today want us to be faster, more agile, more nimble and more entrepreneurial — not bigger and more bureaucratic and more complex."
A merger to create the world's largest advertising company is essentially done between Omnicom (OMC) and Publicis Groupe (PUBGY.OB), according to various reports. The combined $30B company would be a merger of equals, however, with no premium to current share prices -- though size should allow it to negotiate better ad rates and retain clients more easily.
Publicis is not in talks about buying U.S. rival Interpublic (IPG), nor has it "commissioned any bank to undertake any such discussions," the French advertising agency says. Publicis was responding to an FT report from Friday that it's considering a $6B+ bid for Interpublic, speculation that helped the latter's shares close 13.3% higher.
Time Warner (TWX) picks Laura Lang, the CEO of the digital-ad firm Digitas (PUBGY.PK), to run its Time magazine-publishing division, the WSJ reports. The appointment could be announced today and would make Lang head of the biggest U.S. magazine publisher.
Publicis Groupe and its subsidiaries are engaged in the advertising and communications businesses. Co. provides advertising and media consulting services to corporations around the world. Co. also has specialized agencies organized as networks consisting of the following: Publicis Consultants,...More