Publicis Media has merged its two media agencies Blue 449 and Spark Foundry as part of its ongoing consolidation plans.
The combined global company will run under the Spark Foundry brand, except in France, US and UK where the Blue 449 agency will be retained and “co-operate closely”, Publicis said. Here, Blue 449 will service domestic clients and Spark Foundry will focus on global clients.
The bulked-up Spark Foundry will be led globally by Chris Boothe who was elevated from chief executive of Spark Foundry US to global brand president last year. In markets where Blue 449 will continue to operate as a domestic agency it will retain individual chief executives; Simon Davis in the UK, David Ehlers in the US and Pascal Crifo in France.
Davis will now operate across both brands moving forward as well as leading practices including investment, performance, data sciences and content, offering a clear structural point of difference.
“We couldn’t be more excited to expand our extraordinary talent and capabilities across the world,” said Boothe.
“Further, I am thrilled to welcome the Blue449 talent and clients to the Spark Foundry family. I’m confident these clients will benefit from continuing to work with the talent who know them and their business well, now backed by Spark Foundry’s unique Heat proposition strongly resonating and delivering for clients around the world.”
In the past year, it has won new business from brands such as Marriott and Lenovo (global), Mondelez (multi-market), Macy’s, Audible, and Southwest Airlines in the US, Savola in UAE, and Kumho Tires in Australia.
Phil Georgiadis, global chairman of Blue 449 and Publicis Media UK, is also set to leave Publicis having co-founded Blue 449 (formerly Walker Media) in 1998.
He said the “time was right” to move on.
“I have been fully involved and supportive of the new network strategy and I am obviously delighted that Blue 449 will retain its distinctive position in the UK market. This is a testament to the whole team under the strong leadership of Simon and in truth, they are doing a brilliant job without me,” he said.
Las September, global brand president at Blue 449 Andras Vigh also left the French advertising giant.
The global brand will now employ approximately 4,200 people in 12 markets.