Publicis Groupe withdraws from marketing and awards to focus on AI-powered platform Marcel

Publicis Groupe is pulling out of all marketing activity for the next 365 days - and won't be entering awards at Cannes next year - as it focuses its resources on developing Marcel, described by chief executive Arthur Sadoun as a ground breaking new platform.

Publicis Groupe: Mark Tutsell, Carla Serrano and Arthur Sadoun
Publicis Groupe: Mark Tutsell, Carla Serrano and Arthur Sadoun

Named after Publicis’ founder Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet, the platform will be a professional assistant system powered by Artificial Intelligence machine learning.

The ambition is to connect Publicis Groupe’s 80,000 employees across 130 countries, facilitating co-creation at a global scale.

Marcel has been created by the group’s Sapient division and will use predictive technology to help match Publicis' talent with client briefs, no matter which Publicis agency or country they work in. 

"It’s about connecting people and unleashing creativity," said Carla Serrano, the Groupe’s newly-appointed global chief strategy officer. "We’re harnessing all the data we have within the group, driving learnings and knowledge and allowing people to bid for jobs." 

"This is big and scary," Sadoun added. "We’re profiling in detail all our people. We’ll know not only what they do today but what they’ll want to do tomorrow. It’s how our young people want to work. And we are the only group that can do this.

"The 'Power of One' approach means we have broken all our P&L silos so we can work utterly together."

Mark Tutsell, the group’s global creative chief, said: "This is going to be creativity without borders" and confirmed that Publicis’ agencies wont be entering awards over the next year.

Publicis Groupe is ceasing any promotional activities for the next 365 days, including Cannes, but is in conversations with the Lions organisers this week about how they can be part of the transformation.