Gabey Goh
Apr 8, 2016

Publicis Media reveals APAC market leadership

SINGAPORE – Three-week-old Publicis Media has announced its market leadership appointments in the Asia Pacific region, just over a week after Publicis One unveiled its own leadership roster.

Clockwise from top left: Anupriya Acharya, Matt James,  Gareth Mulryan & Bertilla Teo
Clockwise from top left: Anupriya Acharya, Matt James, Gareth Mulryan & Bertilla Teo

Responsible for oversight of Publicis Media’s operations in their respective markets, these appointments are intended to "better utilize the scale and capabilities" of its global agency brands Starcom, Zenith, Mediavest | Spark and Optimedia | Blue 449. 

The market CEOs, reporting to Gerry Boyle, regional CEO, Publicis Media, Asia Pacific are:

  • Bertilla Teo, Greater China (China, Hong Kong, Taiwan) CEO, Publicis Media
  • Anupriya Acharya, India CEO, Publicis Media
  • Gareth Mulryan, Singapore CEO, Publicis Media
  • Matt James, Australia and New Zealand CEO, Publicis Media

In addition Chris Nolan has been appointed COO of Publicis Media Australia and New Zealand, while Mykim Chikli takes on the role of COO for Publicis Media Greater China.

The reorganization of Publicis Groupe’s media capabilities into a Publicis Media hub is part of Publicis Groupe’s transformation efforts previously announced in December.

Publicis Groupe is now organized into four solutions hubs:

  • Publicis Communications led by Arthur Sadoun,
  • Publicis Media led by Steve King,
  • Publicis.Sapient led by Alan Herrick,
  • Publicis Health led by Nick Colucci.

These will be connected through a chief revenue officer organization, led by Laura Desmond.

Publicis Media will be representing the group’s top 20 markets, while Publicis One will service markets outside of those 20, billed as a “global communications enterprise that unites all Publicis Groupe agency brands’ capabilities and expertise under one roof” across 50 markets.

Speaking to Campaign Asia-Pacific, Boyle said that the re-organisation of the Asia Pacific operations will be executed in a sequential fashion, with today’s announcement marking the first phase.

“It was first important to establish local market leadership, the country CEOs, as they are going to be the people integrating the brands and practices,” he added.

Boyle said the second stage will be focused on establishing how the new global practises will work in areas spanning content, performance, corporate development and communications, trading, technology and innovation, research, analytics and insights.

“What we’re doing is pooling best talent we have from around the world in all markets and making it available to all four brands,” he added.

“Publicis Media is going to be a ‘brand-led organisation powered by global practices’ and that means powerful global agency brands, that will operate under one country CEO, supported by all the talent in the practises we’ve got and that’s how we’re going to stimulate growth and make a difference,” he said.

Boyle added that in some cases such as business transformation, it will be a “truly global” practise while other services such as corporate development and communications would likely take on a more regional structure, with an even more local configuration for services such as content and performance.

“In the next month we will have a regional structure in place, including what the optimum roles are to make sure everyone is fulfilled and challenged and inspired as they can be,” Boyle said.

Boyle said that having established the “best possible leadership” for country markets, agency brand leadership announcement will follow very quickly.

“In some markets that’s very clear, in other markets it will be announced in the next few days,” he added.

Vivaki, the group’s ad tech arm will fall under the Publicis Media, as the company continues its rationalisation of all brands.

“Vivaki will integrate under the agency brands," said Boyle.


Gerry Boyle

Asked about the timeline for resolving the re-structure of the company’s Asia Pacific operations, Boyle said the team was working toward end of April or beginning of May.

“With these things it’s hard to give a definitive date to it but we are certainly looking toward to resolve very quickly,” he said.

Boyle reported that feedback from the company’s client base as so far been positive as well.

“Clients are interested in the brands, the leadership and the benefits they will get. I believe the benefits will come from those leaders of these practices,” he said. “If we are able to deliver to clients the best possible talent in all areas creating value for their business in a most efficient way, that’s got to be good for both us and clients.”

When pointed out that the clustering of markets bears some similarities to the structure in play at IPG Mediabrand, which consists of three clusters, G14, World Markets and North America – which the network is reportedly shifting away from – Boyle declined to comment citing a lack of familiarity with the IPG system.

He instead emphasised that the media agency brands, remain an important part of the global brand network.

“For example, clients won’t feel the difference, whether they walk into Starcom Singapore, Philippines or China,” Boyle said. “It’s just a different financial reporting structure.”

He also added that he doesn’t view the company’s current changes as a restructuring process, given the negative connotations associated with the term.

“I see it more as a ‘creation process’,” Boyle added. “We’re standing at the edge of a huge opportunity for the group—to create a group and brand structure that is different from anything that sits in the market today.”

He added that the changes will be “an amazing liberator of growth for both our people and clients.”

“What’s interesting is that it’s a change that affects every single person in the company, as opposed to typical organisational changes which only affects a group or department,”Boyle said. “And so far, everyone is being extremely positive about the change.”

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