Will Green
May 24, 2023

Publicis Groupe buys out AI research joint venture

Publicis Sapient AI Labs was set up in 2020 in a three-way partnership.

Publicis Sapient AI Labs: joint venture was owned equally by partners
Publicis Sapient AI Labs: joint venture was owned equally by partners

Publicis Groupe has bought out the joint venture it helped create to further research into data and artificial intelligence.

Publicis Sapient AI Labs was set up in 2020 by Publicis Sapient, Publicis’ digital transformation consulting company, data science company Elder Research and tech venture firm Tquila.

Under the deal, Publicis Sapient AI Labs will become part of Publicis Sapient, which is led by chief executive Nigel Vaz. The terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed but the joint venture was owned equally by the three partners. Staff are based across London and Boston in the US.

Publicis said the deal would “further strengthen Publicis Sapient’s data and AI capabilities and enable the company to develop innovative solutions across industries for a wide range of applications, such as generative AI, natural language processing, computer vision and autonomous systems”.

The group said Publicis Sapient would be offering clients “fusion workshops and hackathons to develop a data and AI vision”, prototypes and “rapid proof of value” for business use cases, training programmes and collaborations with Publicis Sapient’s alliance partners, including Microsoft, Google and Amazon.

Publicis Groupe CEO and chairman Arthur Sadoun said: “The acquisition of Publicis Sapient AI Labs reinforces our continued investment in innovation, as well as our commitment to staying ahead of the AI curve. 

“Through its bolstered digital business transformation services, Publicis Sapient will help clients identify critical challenges and issues that AI and data science can solve to deliver world-class innovation.” 

In February, Sadoun told Campaign a key trend in 2022 was a “shift in our client spend towards first-party data management, digital media, commerce and business transformation”, which had resulted in 19% organic growth for Publicis Sapient.

Sapient was acquired by Publicis in 2014. Among Publicis Sapient’s clients are Bang & Olufsen, British Gas and Finnair.

Campaign UK

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