Publicis Groupe has created the new role of global chief marketing officer and promoted Justin Billingsley, currently country chief executive of Germany, Austria and Switzerland, to the post.
Billingsley, a former client-side marketer who has worked in Asia-Pacific, Europe and the US, leading marketing for brands such as Orange, Nokia and Coca-Cola, will take on the CMO role alongside his responsibilities as chairman of Publicis Emil and Publicis One Touch, the bespoke global networks for Mercedes-Benz and Nivea respectively.
He will focus on four key areas: new product development and marketing; client transformation; new and organic growth; and PR and communications.
The remit builds on some of the work that Billingsley has already been doing. As well as his country CEO position, Billingsley has also been responsible for leading a string of Publicis "Power of one" new-business wins in recent years, including landing the Mercedes and Nivea accounts.
He has then gone on to work with these clients to implement new agency models that optimise the use of data, creativity and technology to drive business growth.
Arthur Sadoun, global chairman and chief executive of Publicis Groupe, said: "Justin has the unique set of skills and experience to take on this critical new role in our organisation, particularly at this time of profound change… There are many initiatives that are currently being taken at Publicis to make sure our clients are recovery ready. Justin will ensure that all of our clients can benefit from them."
Billingsley said his first tasks in the role, given the pressures from the Covid-19 crisis, will be partnering Publicis’ global client leaders and their clients directly to ensure they are recovery ready. "We’re focusing on helping our clients make good decisions for today and to prepare for what lies ahead," he said.
He added that priorities will be working with clients on harmonising their online and offline customer experience, allowing them to feel closer to their customers by helping them manage their first-party data and creating the best environments for creative excellence. "Now is the time when smart brands can get share gains," Billingsley explained.