Aug 8, 2016

Unprecedented global partnership deal sees Tencent link arms with Publicis Groupe

A “bold new partnership” inked in Paris last month ushers in extensive and wide-reaching cooperation links between Tencent Group’s full suite of assets and all three of Publicis Groupe’s solution hubs.

Beyond borders: Collaboration offers opportunity to foster better understanding around the world of China’s dynamic mobile internet development.
Beyond borders: Collaboration offers opportunity to foster better understanding around the world of China’s dynamic mobile internet development.

Tencent and Publicis tied the knot with a fittingly high-tech ceremony at the Viva Technology Paris digital industry conference: their top executives scanned a special WeChat QR code in a symbolic gesture that activated the agreement. 

The new deal — signed in the French capital on July 1 -— opens the door to a “first-of-its-kind” collaboration between the global advertising group and Tencent’s full suite of assets.  

The cooperation deal with Publicis leverages Tencent’s various platforms and products to offer diversified data solutions and deeper consumer insights. 

The scope of this new agreement is unprecedented — it is the first time Tencent has entered into an agreement that involves all parts of the group’s operations. 

“This bold new partnership with Publicis Groupe, the first of its kind across all of our assets, will lead the global trends and deliver new ways to meet the needs of our clients and business partners,” said SY Lau, senior executive vice-president of Tencent and president of
Online Media Group. 

“This collaboration will give brands and organisations around the world a better understanding of China’s unique and dynamic mobile internet development, while creating huge business opportunities associated with this new market.”

Lau stressed the strategic significance of the two groups linking hands in such a way, and predicted it would have a major impact on the industry’s future development. “Tencent is one of the world’s most influential digital media platforms and Publicis Groupe is one of the global leaders in marketing and communications; together we will define the new era for the media industry and unveil a new partnership model,” he said. 

Maurice Lévy, chairman and CEO of Publicis Groupe, said the deal confirmed the fruition of China’s digital revolution and would help cement the country’s status as a source of technological innovation. 

“China continues to lead the world in advertising growth, especially in digital and mobile, and we increasingly see new ideas and technology that leapfrog the West,” Lévy said. “Tencent is a company that embodies this strive for growth and innovation and we are honoured to be their first-ever global partner and look forward to everything that we will achieve together for the ultimate benefit of our clients.”

The partnership is the first deal Publicis has implemented which transcends all three of the Groupe’s solution hubs: Publicis Media, Publicis Communications and Publicis.Sapient.

Symbolic: Scanning WeChat QR codes to seal the deal

The new strategic relationship is designed to implement a “borderless approach” that extends Tencent’s technological innovations internationally, and will focus on “three pillars”: future capabilities; data; and content.

The two giants will establish a “drugstore” incubation facility to develop future capabilities. The unit will “curate, invest in and cultivate the startups of the future” and “provide breakthrough offerings” to clients across data, ad tech, and also “VR and AR enabled platforms”. 

Tencent is also opening the door to its extensive insight on consumers, offering Publicis Groupe access to the “vast and rich online behavioural data” it has built up. This is a major coup for the advertiser, and should enable it to significantly ramp up its programmatic offerings, cross-screen planning capabilities and conversion performance.

In terms of content partnership, the two companies have agreed to work together in co-creation and co-investment of internet native content, with a view to developing “unique content opportunities and new content models for key clients”. 

In an exclusive statement to Campaign Asia-Pacific, Tencent said that “cooperation between the two sides will cover a number of latitudes”, and that the partnership had “already begun in terms of future capabilities, data mining and content co-creation”. 

“The GSP deal with Publicis will push out cooperation to a higher level, and reach a full range of global cooperation with the whole of Publicis Groupe,” Tencent said in the statement.

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