Emily Tan
Feb 5, 2013

UPDATE: Publicis' Digitas and LBi merge, Digonnet and Sturgeon to lead Asia

GLOBAL - Publicis Groupe has merged Digitas and LBi to form a fully integrated agency network named DigitasLBi.

Digonnet (left) and Sturgeon will continue in their roles
Digonnet (left) and Sturgeon will continue in their roles

The new network will be led by LBi chief executive Luke Taylor who has been appointed DigitasLBi's global CEO.

Taylor will report directly to  Bob Lord, CEO of Publicis Groupe's Digital Technology Division. A team of senior LBi, Digitas and Publicis Groupe executives will oversee the merger process under the
leadership of Stephan Beringer, CEO, Digitas and Razorfish International who will craft a plan prioritising people and clients.

Publicis acquired LBi last year for a reported US$514 million with an eye to strengthening the network's digital capabilities. 

According to a spokesperson for Digitas Asia-Pacific, the merger is aimed at strengthening the two networks and will see no redundancies. 

The combined network will span 25 markets and comprise 5,700 specialists. 

In Asia-Pacific, Digitas is present in Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, China, India, the Philippines and Thailand. LBi has offices in Australia, India, China and Singapore and will merge with Digitas in these markets.

For the present, it's "business as usual" across both networks with Vincent Digonnet continuing in this role as president, Asia-Pacific, Digitas and Razorfish, based out of Shanghai. Ewen Sturgeon will likewise continue in his role as chief executive LBi, Europe, Middle East and Asia.

In North America, Colin Kinsella will also retain his role as chief executive, Digitas.

According to Digitas, within Asia-Pacific, there is no overlap in clients and the joint global portfolio includes American Express, Coca-Cola, eBay, L'Oréal, Johnson & Johnson, Mondelez, P&G and Starbucks. 

"The combination of Digitas and LBi will create the world's leading concentration of digital skills and competencies in the world, capable of delivering solutions to all clients, everywhere," said Maurice Lévy, chairman and CEO of Publicis Groupe. "The formation of DigitasLBi is an essential landmark. It will certainly be the most competitive, attractive network in the market for both clients and talent."

With DigitasLBi combined with Publicis Groupe sister digital brands Razorfish and Rosetta, the group's revenue derived from digital operations is now over 35 per cent. 

The creation of DigitasLBi will not affect social media agency MRY, which will remain a standalone entity under the leadership of founder and chief executive Matt Britton. 

Update: A spokesperson for Digitas got in touch to clarify Digonnet and Sturgeon's respective roles in Asia.

Source:
Campaign Asia

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