Arthur Sadoun warns of 'very tough days' ahead as Publicis fights to return to growth

He delivered last Sunday message to Publicis staff.

Sadoun: praised staff for helping to protect business
Sadoun: praised staff for helping to protect business

Arthur Sadoun, chief executive and chairman of Publicis Groupe, has warned that there are still tough days ahead and the "fight is only starting" as the world begins to emerge from lockdown.

In his final Sunday video message yesterday (5 July) to all Publicis employees, he thanked everyone for making decisions that protect the business, such as recruiting from within.

Sadoun said: "Since day one, you have made the right decisions to protect our agencies by not going outside of the group for recruitment, freelancers and third-party suppliers. In a matter of weeks, you created resource allocation platforms to save as many jobs as possible against the revenue decline we have seen in many agencies."

He also praised staff for their response in coming up with measures against racism after the Black Lives Matter protests. He added: "In the last month following the terrible events taking place in the US, you have come together in many countries to accelerate our diversity and inclusion agenda, and implement strong measures against racism and inequality."

However, Sadoun warned that this is not the end of the fight against coronavirus, explaining that the economic situation is not set to improve any time soon and clients will continue to increase pressure on agencies.

He continued: "Let’s be clear, the fight is only starting. Very tough days are still ahead. We will have to live with the virus. The economic context won’t get better soon. And the client pressure will continue to increase. But we should be confident that we have the organisation, the products and a team that is stronger than ever to face these challenges.

"So this is my last Sunday film, as next weekend I will be back on the road to meet some of you and see some clients with the necessary social distance. From now on, I'll be spending most of my time with many of you on clients and new business. Returning to growth must the number-one priority for all of us."

Sadoun has been delivering a video message to staff every Sunday since March, when many countries began their coronavirus lockdowns.