Vivaki launches Digitas Australia

LONDON - Vivaki, the Publicis Groupe strategic media unit, has launched interactive agency Digitas in Australia.

Digitas Australia will be based in Sydney, complementing Publicis Groupe's Starcom MediaVest Group and Zenith Optimedia, as well as creative agencies Saatchi & Saatchi, Mojo and Leo Burnett.

It will initially offer digital execution for partner agencies, eCommerce projects, servicing and support for media agencies and servicing for international Digitas clients.

Kevin Malloy, chairman of VivaKi Australasia, has appointed Mandy Henry, formerly the Sydney managing director of media agency Carat, as Australian managing director of Digitas.

Henry has worked in media for 25 years, beginning her career at George Patterson Bates she later moved on to Mojo MDA.

In 1991 she became a founding partner of HalmarickMedia with Richard Halmarick. The company was acquired by Aegis in 1998 and became Carat Australia.

Henry was a board director of Carat Australia and a member of the Aegis Media Pacific executive team. She became managing director of Carat's Sydney office in 2001.

Nicolas Guillemot, partner at Digitas Paris has been named general manager of Digitas Australia, effective immediately.

Guillemont has more than 10 years' experience in e-business and digital. Guillemot worked with Business Interactive which became part of Digitas Paris in 2007 and prior to that was with Groupe LGS France (an IBM company).

Malloy said: "Digitas is the first tangible example of VivaKi's launch into the Australian market.

"We have recently launched VivaKi in New Zealand, UK, Russia, India and Iberia to great success.

"Australia is a priority market for Publicis Groupe and Digitas. We have global clients that demand and expect a presence in Australia and as Digitas rolls out globally, Australia is critical to its footprint.

"Despite the economic conditions, we believe that we have a strong enough business proposition to launch and to establish Digitas in Australia.

"We don't want to wait. We see opportunities in the current climate."

Publicis launched VivaKi in June 2008 as a strategic entity aimed at leveraging the scale and knowledge of the group's agencies including Digitas, Starcom MediaVest and ZenithOptimedia to drive growth and accelerate digital capabilities of the agency brands.

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