David Blecken
Aug 13, 2013

Publicis combines operations with Leo Burnett in Korea

SEOUL – Welcomm Publicis, the Publicis network’s operation in Korea, is undergoing restructuring that will see it combined with Publicis Groupe sister agency Leo Burnett in the market.

Cho will oversee both Leo Burnett and Publicis
Cho will oversee both Leo Burnett and Publicis

Publicis will continue to exist as an agency in Korea, although it is not known if it will retain its Welcomm branding. The move has resulted in the departure of Publicis Welcomm president Woo-duk Park, who is understood to have retired.

Youmi Cho (pictured), the former managing director of Leo Burnett Korea, will head both that agency and Publicis as chief executive. Cho has a background in BTL marketing, having also been the managing director of Arc Worldwide in Korea. It is understood that Publicis will operate out of Leo Burnett’s new offices.

Sources close to the development have indicated that the restructuring is due to the need for greater efficiencies. Publicis Groupe agencies are known to have combined back office operations in other markets, including Taiwan and Vietnam.

It is believed that the move has led to a number of further departures from Publicis, with certain additional senior staff members being offered early retirement packages. Steven Koh, head of client services, is among those confirmed to be leaving.

Senior representatives from Publicis headquarters in France declined to comment on the proceedings; Leo Burnett was also unable to provide an official statement.

Last month, Publicis Groupe announced its intention to merge with Omnicom. The deal has yet to be completed, but is expected to generate US$500 million in cost savings if approved.

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