Publicis reveals ‘Sapient Inside’, a new division to bring tech and creativity closer

Publicis Groupe has spawned another division, called ‘Sapient Inside’, which it promises will bring tech and creativity closer together by "embedding" digital specialists within its traditional creative shops.

The new division is underpinned by a number of changes made to the business over the past three months. In Janurary, the Groupe completed a massive restructure to create four "solutions hubs" each led by a chief client officer. The four hubs included Publicis Communications, Publicis Media (also recently restructured), Publicis.Sapient and Publicis Healthcare.

Publicis.Sapient, created by the Groupe’s buyout of Sapient Nitro in 2015, saw four digital-led agencies – Sapient Consulting, SapientNitro, DigitasLBi, Razorfish – brought under one umbrella. Meanwhile, Publicis Communications comprises its main creative businesses, namely BBH, Saatchi & Saatchi, Publicis Worldwide, and Leo Burnett amongst others.

Sapient Inside will sit between the two, bringing “the best” of the Publicis.Sapient and Publicis Communications together to help clients better connect brand marketing with digital and tech.

It won't necessarily be a seperate "agency" as such, instead 'Sapient Inside' will comprise "digital consulting and technology experts" sitting within Publicis Communications global offices with a view to " providing a seamless link to the Publicis.Sapient platform’s expertise," the Groupe said.

“Sapient Inside is a critical cornerstone in Publicis Communications' transformation: it gives our creative agencies unmatched competitive advantage by integrating world-class digital and technology capabilities into our leading brand marketing operations in a totally seamless way for our clients," Arthur Sadoun, chief executive of Publicis Communications, explained.

“It is also a unique opportunity for our people to further experience and expound the alchemy of creativity and technology."

Sapient Inside will roll out on 1 July in New York, Chicago, London, Paris, Shanghai, Hamburg and Dubai before expanding to additional offices globally over the next year.

The rollout will be co-led by Guy Wieynk, European chief executive of Publicis Worldwide, and Christian Oversohl, managing director of SapientNitro for Asia Pacific.

Discussing the move at the 4A’s Transformation Conference in Miami today (22 March), Groupe chief executive Maurice Levy claimed that first client reactions “have been tremendously positive.”

During the conference, Levy also broke his silence over the shocking lawsuit made against former JWT chief Gustavo Martinez, suggesting that sexism in the industry is not an issue.

Jennifer Faull

Jen Faull is deputy news editor at The Drum with a remit to cover the latest developments in the retail and FMCG sectors. Based in London, she has interviewed major business figures including top marketers from Mondelez, Unilever, Tesco, and Lidl.

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