People: The Mozza Stays On

Publicis Groupe chief executive Maurice Lévy has put on hold plans to retire at the end of next year, after the resignation of David Kenny, managing partner of the holding company’s Vivaki unit and a possible successor for Lévy’s job. Lévy, in a statement said he would “stay on board as long as needed,” at the request of the Publicis’ supervisory board. M. Levy has always been a supporter of Connections and I applaud his move.
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Ad Recession: Probably over. Pricecutters beware…

ZenithOptimedia is predicting global ad markets will increase 0.9% in 2010 to almost $448bn (£274bn) and expects ad expenditure to show steady improvement over the next three years, with growth of nearly 5% by 2012. The global spending prediction is the Publicis agency’s first upward revision in 18 months and comes after the worst ad decline in modern times. Zenith also predicts ad spend to fall 10.2% in 2009 to nearly $444bn.
US online advertising spending is set to drop this year for the first time since 2002. eMarketer estimates online ad spending will be down 4.6% this year. However, the slowly recovering economy, combined with basic structural changes in how marketers and the public use media, will lead to Internet ad spending growth in early 2010.
“It’s been denied, but I would rebut the denial,” Sorrell said, calling the practice “extremely dangerous in my view. It’s particularly dangerous if we see media price inflation.”
Possibly related:
Zenith Forecast: In ’09, Only Online Grows
(paidcontent.org)
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Recession Zeitgeist: Office Politics, Upcoming Talent Wars … Ad CEOs Think its over … the Economist Doesn’t

Recession Ups Backstabbing and Sucking Up
More than four in 10 US employees say they are encountering increased workplace backstabbing, “sucking up” and politicking as co-workers take desperate measures to stay employed amid widespread fears of layoffs during the recession, according to a study conducted by Professor Wayne Hochwarter out of Florida State University.

dilbert-pvc-set

many employers, you may soon be facing a “resume tsumani” when valued workers who have been with you through the recession start flooding the market with CVs as the economy improves. Planning for post-recession turnover may determine whether you’re among the talent winners or losers when the economy improves.
Global ad Omnicom Group Inc. and Publicis Groupe SA reported significant declines in revenue and profit but indicated a bottom may be at hand in the global advertising downturn. “We don’t see a recovery, but we feel we’ve hit the troughs,” said John Wren, chief executive of Omnicom. He added that it will take a couple of quarters to cycle through the current downturn, and a couple more before growth comes. “We believe the worst is behind us,” said Publicis Chief Executive Maurice Lévy. “All figures should be less in decline in the third quarter than in the second quarter.”
The global slump has reached its trough. Asia’s economies are looking rosier, buoyed by a spectacular rebound in China, where output grew at an annualised rate of some 16% between April and June. Even in America and the euro area, GDP is likely to stop shrinking during the summer. Trade, having fallen precipitately, is levelling off (see article). And, as firms rebuild their stocks, global growth over the next few months could be surprisingly robust. That is a welcome prospect. But it is not the all-clear. For this “recovery” has fragile foundations
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Razorfish: The Players, The Package, The Deal

The Players:
WPP and Publicis are competing to acquire Razorfish, reports PaidContent. That means two things: One of them will be forced to pay more than Razorfish is worth in order to get it; and it will be personal. WPP chief Martin Sorrell and Publicis boss Maurice Levy have a longstanding — and highly entertaining — personal rivalry.
Dentsu, the largest advertising group in Japan, has jumped into the fray as Microsoft opened the books to bidders for its Razorfish agency this week. WPP and Publicis, the rival communications groups, had already been considering an offer for Razorfish, a digital marketing specialist which could fetch around $600m to $700m.
razorfish
A Digital Agency … But That’s Not All…
There are a lot of players talking to Microsoft about Razorfish, among them Publicis, Dentsu, WPP, Omnicom, Interpublic and AKQA‘s private-equity investor, General Atlantic. But to best the field, the winning suitor will likely have to fork over more than money to the agency’s owner, which is looking for “strategic assets,” such as a commitment to buy its advertising offerings or use its technologies.
Microsoft is offering hundreds of millions of dollars worth of ad space to the potential buyer of its digital agency Razorfish as its pitches the deal to the likes of WPP, Omnicom, Publicis Groupe, Dentsu and Interpublic Group, which are all said to have expressed interest.
But Will It Happen?
Yet the chances of a deal being struck in the near term remain remote, according to analysts. For one, the acquisitions market is moribund, with credit still hard to come by for an acquisition that would cost between $600 million and $800 million. Razorfish generated revenue of $408 million last year. WPP, in particular, would seem unlikely to have the financial wherewithal to make an acquisition, after shelling out nearly $1 billion on digital acquisitions over the past few years. It is still in the throes of integrating TNS, too. Even as Sorrell expressed interest, he said WPP earmarked about $160 million for acquisitions, a fraction of what it would take to get Razorfish. That leaves Publicis as the only likely candidate to take on Razorfish.
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Facebook Real Friends, Dan Wieden’s Ruler, Asda Beef

Wieden & Kennedy, London, the latest agency to get involved in the product-design game, is launching a range of co-branded products to be sold globally via traditional retailers and online. The products have been created in partnership with design group Suck UK, which specializes in “products with a twist,” and novelty-gift company Worldwide Co. In the U.K. the products are bei
Asda has launched a range of beef for carbon-conscious customers that is produced by using a third less CO2 than normal beef. The saving comes from slaughtering the animals at the age of nine to 11 months old, much sooner than the average 24-month lifespan of standard cattle.


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Prototype v Facebook, Publicis v GM

Prototype, a game for Xbox and PS3, just launched a Facebook Connect powered trailer. Jesse Pickard asys “It’s one of the most innovative Facebook Connect executions out there. Be sure to check it out.”

prototype
GM Bankruptcy: Publicis Says Its Exposure Is $78 Million
Publicis Groupe said today its maximum financial exposure to its client General Motors Corp.’s bankruptcy filing is $78 million. The French holding company’s Starcom MediaVest Group is listed in the automaker’s Chapter 11 filing as its sixth-largest unsecured creditor, owed $121 million and Publicis itself is 18th on that list, owed $25 million.

gm publicis

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Recession: Bellwether calls the bottom, Maurice Levy predicts further gloom

The global advertising market is weakening faster than previously feared, according to Maurice Levy, the chairman and chief executive of Publicis Groupe. The holding company chief was quoted on Capital magazine’s website as saying: “The advertising market is locked into a downward spiral. “Since the beginning of the year, the indicators haven’t stopped getting worse. In February, I was expecting a global decline of the order of 3 per cent. It is now accepted that the drop will be even stronger.”
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