Publicis confirms network launch

ZenithOptimedia has promoted Sébastien Danet, the president of ZenithOptimedia France and chairman of VivaKi France, to the additional role of chairman of the new sub-network containing Walker Media.

Danet: takes the additional role of chairman of the new sub-network that contains Walker Media
Danet: takes the additional role of chairman of the new sub-network that contains Walker Media

The network will launch in the first quarter of 2014. It does not yet have a name, although it has been known internally as Project Blue.

Phil Georgiadis will continue in his role as chairman of Walker Media and Simon Davis will remain its chief executive. However, both men will work with Danet, who has also become a global managing partner of ZenithOptimedia, on the roll-out of the new network.

Georgiadis will now report to Steve King, the global chief executive of ZenithOptimedia, and Davis will continue to report to Georgiadis.

In the UK, the name of the network is likely to have the suffix "powered by Walker Media". Walker Media will continue to work with current clients and will not pool their spend with ZenithOptimedia clients in the UK.

The network will have a focus on specific categories, including retail, automotive and pharmaceuticals. It will be built from existing ZenithOptimedia businesses, acquisitions and launches.

King said the new structure would help ZenithOptimedia build on its "fantastic" growth over the past eight years, resolve conflict issues and reach growth targets agreed with Maurice Lévy, the chief executive of ZenithOptimedia’s parent, Publicis Groupe.

The network will initially open offices in Europe and the US, but King hopes to expand it to Asia.

Last Thursday (28 November), Publicis confirmed it had bought 75.1 per cent of Walker Media from M&C Saatchi for £36 million.

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