Publicis Groupe to halt all spend on award shows and events in 2018

Publicis Groupe has decided to prohibit its agencies globally from participating in award shows, trade shows and industry events for around a year. This is in a bid to, obviously, save some money.

An article in Adweek quoted an internal memo written by CEO Frank Voris of Publicis Groupe’s financial services unit,  that the company is now “looking for 2.5% cost synergies for 2018”. This will come from “eliminating all award/trade shows [participation] for the next year.”

The note also said there will be no exceptions across the entire Groupe.

According to a preppy video put up by the agency, this will then help it to focus all its resources in developing Marcel, a professional assistant platform powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning. Marcel will be launched in June 2018 and Publicis Groupe will resume its participation in industry events in September 2018.

“For the next 12 months, we will make Marcel a priority in terms of investments, because we need to choose our battles, we will pull our involvement in festivals, award shows and industry events for a year,” Arthur Sadoun (pictured), Publicis Groupe CEO, said in a video discussing the plans for the new platform.

“Make no mistake, we won’t be giving up our award winning standards during this period,” Mark Tutssel, global chief creative officer, Leo Burnett & Creative said.

In a press statement on Marcel, Publicis Groupe explained that the new platform Marcel will draw on the predictive nature of AI to "identify opportunities, anticipate clients’ needs, connect people, and unleash creativity". This is while harnessing the Groupe’s data spine to drive business solutions.  Marcel it will also connect 80,000 employees across 200 disciplines in 130 countries.

The platform's features were inspired by the results of Publicis Groupe’s global talent survey conducted in 2017, revealing authentic insight about how the people within our company want to work in the future.

Through Marcel, Publicis Groupe aims to give "newfound opportunities" to connect diverse and extreme skill sets seamlessly."