Arthur Sadoun: UK is powerhouse of Publicis Groupe growth

Sadoun: 'The only way to preserve the business of our clients is to own data'
Sadoun: 'The only way to preserve the business of our clients is to own data'

Rise in revenues shows single P&L model is working, Publicis boss says.

Arthur Sadoun has identified the UK as the most significant growth engine for Publicis Groupe right now after the company released its first-half results last week.

The financial results pointed to a 15% hike in revenues for the first half of the year, but the company's share price fell 6.5% on Friday and a further 1% today.

Sadoun told Campaign that the rise in revenue was helped by 4.8% growth in the UK and the results are proof that the country model – which brings all of the group's assets under one P&L in each country – is working.

"The country model that we have put in place with a single leader and a single P&L is really starting to take off very strongly," Sadoun said. "We are building our future growth on very solid foundations and the country model is a very strong expression of that.

"The UK is driving the growth for the group at the moment and this is definitely the place where we have implemented the 'Power of one' approach so effectively.

"Annette [King, chief executive of Publicis Groupe UK] and her team have found the right alchemy between everything we do in marketing transformation with our creative brands and with our media brands and now Sapient, with Nigel Vaz, is starting to work with our clients and in new business to really bring to life our new model. Together, they are delivering marketing transformation and business transformation."

Publicis Groupe UK has recently landed the main brand brief for BT and its PG One UK team for Procter & Gamble has won the Bold account and a project for Gilette in Europe. However, the group recently lost out to WPP in the battle for Centrica.

Sadoun said of the latter result: "OK, we didn’t win Centrica, but at the end of the day it took six months for Centrica to decide to just retain the incumbents; we showed that at least we challenged them pretty well, and at the beginning of the process we beat another WPP team and IPG. Along with organic growth and wins like BT, that shows the strength and vitality of what we are trying to build."

Sadoun added that the focus now is to invest in "modern creative talent and tech talent on the one side and investing in assets on the other". The group recently secured a $4bn acquisition of data specialist Epsilon.

He pointed out that data would continue to be a priority: "There’s a lot of debate about whether holding companies should own data or not, and our answer is pretty simple: in a world that is dominated by Amazon, by Google and by Facebook, the only way to preserve and secure the business of our clients in order for them to take back control of their customer is to own data.

"If we don’t have the technology to build first-party data or to enrich that data and if we don't have the platform to activate that data, we are not properly doing our job for our clients in the future, because they urgently need to take back control of their customers."

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