Publicis Groupe inks global partnership with Chinese internet giant Tencent

Publicis Groupe chief Maurice Lévy seals the deal with Tencent head SY Lau scan via a WeChat QR code

Publicis Groupe has signed a global partnership with Chinese internet behemoth and WeChat owner Tencent.

The holding group's deal with Tencent will give it access to a large amount of behavioural data with the aim of provising Publicis clients with improved programmatic offerings, cross-screen planning capabilities and conversion performance.

Tencent owns messaging app WeChat, which lays claim to 760 million monthly users. It also owns digital platform QQ which has 860 million users, these two assets alone could give Publicis Groupe a potenital audience of 1.6 billion consumers.

The agreement, which was unveiled at Viva Technology Paris, is the first-of-its kind collaboration across a global adveritsing firm and all 11 products of Tencent, and is also the first deal to transcend the French-based group's three divisions - Publicis Media, Publicis Communications and Publicis.Sapient.

Both businesses will co-create and co-invest on advertising content for brands, and will also launch a 'Drugstore' startup incubation offering.

“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," said Maurice Lévy, Publicis Groupe chairman and chief executive in a statement, adding: "Tencent is a company that embodies this strive for growth and innovation and we are honored to be their first-ever global partner and look forward to everything we will achieve together for the ultimate benefit of our clients."

Meanwhile, SY Lau, senior executive vice-president of Tencent and president of online media group asserted that the "bold" partnership would help "lead the global trends and deliver new ways" to meet the needs of its clients and business partners.

He continued: "In parallel, this collaboration will give brands and organizations 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."

The two leaders immortalised the deal by scanning a WeChat QR code as homage to one of the messaging app's hallmark actions.

Get The Drum Newsletter

Build your marketing knowledge by choosing from daily news bulletins or a weekly special.