Maurice Levy: 'Digital is the name of the game tomorrow'

By Arif Durrani, mediaweek.co.uk, Thursday, 26 May 2011 10:50AM

Maurice Levy, chief executive of Publicis Groupe, talks about the idea behind the e-G8 and evolving his own advertising and communications group around digital.

Held in Paris on 24-25 May ahead of the G8 Summit, the e-G8 is designed to bring together leading figures from the technology industry to discus the impact of the internet.

Speaking to CNBC, the chief executive of the group behind Leo Burnet, Saatchi & Saatchi and Publicis Worldwide, as well as Starcom MediaVest Group and ZenithOptimedia, said "digital is the name of the game of tomorrow".

He explained: "The most important thing we have done is transform ourselves from the inside by every time that somebody is leaving by hiring ourselves someone who is digitally literate. Transforming the way we work, trying to bring down the old structures

"It’s not yet where we would like it to be but our organisation has changed dramatically over the last few years."

Rupert Murdoch, founder and chairman of News Corporation, used his eG8 address yesterday to call for more investment in digital education, beyond simply putting a computer in every school.

The media mogul noted how the internet had changed the world in every area except education, calling it "a colossal failure of imagination and an abdication of our responsibilities to our children and grandchildren".

Drawing on examples of schools in the US, he said digital technology can help teach children at their own pace to unlock their potential.

He said: "In putting this creative force into schools we can ensure the poor child in Manila has the same chance as the rich child in Manhatten… The key to our future is to unlock this potential."

Critics will note that News Corp moved into the US education sector at the end of last year when it paid $360m for 90% of the educational-led mobile and software firm Wireless Generation.

Other speakers attending the inaugural event included Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales and Google's Eric Schmidt.

This article was first published on mediaweek.co.uk

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