Publicis moves closer to Google as they plan staff swap

PARIS - Publicis Groupe is cozying up to Google as the two say they plan to swap staff as part of a partnership aimed at benefiting clients by pooling their respective creative and technical know-how.

The companies' top executives held a joint press conference at Publicis headquarters yesterday, at which they revealed they have been cooperating for the past year. However, they gave few details of what exactly they have been doing together.

Eric Schmidt, Google's chief executive, said "possibly hundreds" of Google employees could take placements within Publicis, which owns Saatchi & Saatchi and Fallon, digital specialist Digitas, and media shops ZenithOptimedia, Zed and Starcom.

Publicis' stance of treating Google as a partner contrasts with the attitude evinced by WPP Group chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell last April when he described the search giant as a "short-term friend and a long-term enemy".

Sorrell said this after Google bid for internet display advertising network DoubleClick, and only weeks before WPP bought similar network 24/7 Real Media.

While Sorrell may believe Google is seeking to take over advertising groups' territory, Maurice Levy, the Publicis chief executive, is inviting the US company across his doorstep.

Levy said: "Google is not a short-term friend and a long-term enemy. It's a real partner.

"The world of advertising has to change. That is what we are building for tomorrow. The partnership with Google is not about creating one product. It is about creating a concept that will work across our whole company."

"We are sharing our information to help Google develop the right platforms and Google is sharing technology to help us develop the best services for our clients."

Schmidt told journalists yesterday: "Google will never become an advertising agency."

Become a member of Campaign from just £88 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to , plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Become a member

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an alert now

Partner content