The Week: Publicis poised to launch Locke-led media trading arm

Publicis will this week launch its group trading unit, VivaKi UK Media Trading, with Starcom's Chris Locke at the helm.

The trading arm will bring together the combined £1.2 billion UK trading power of Starcom MediaVest Group and ZenithOptimedia.

It will be led by Locke, the group trading director at Starcom, and will also handle digital negotiations for Publicis' Digitas operation when required.

Chris Hayward, the investment director at ZenithOptimedia, will work alongside Locke as the managing partner of VivaKi UK Media Trading, which takes its name from Publicis' recently launched media holding company brand.

Gerry Boyle, the chief executive of ZenithOptimedia, and Stewart Easterbrook, his counterpart at Starcom MediaVest Group, will sit on the board of the new unit alongside Locke and Hayward, as will Chris Mandale, the chief financial officer of VivaKi EMEA.