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Publicis Groupe Brand Strategy Retail Media

Publicis reveals retail media offering to tie-up its e-commerce acquisitions


By Jennifer Faull, Deputy Editor

June 16, 2022 | 4 min read

With spend in retail media predicted to reach $60bn within the next two years, Publicis wants a bigger slice of the pie with a new platform that pulls together some of the big tech acquisitions it has made.


Publicis announced new retail media plan at its VivaTech event

Publicis has not-so-quietly built an enviable tech stack over the past eight years to help it win the massive spend being funneled into retail media. It started with the Sapient buyout in 2014, followed by the mega $4.4bn spend to acquire Epsilon in 2019. In the past year alone it has brought CitrusAd and Profitero into the fold, the latter for a reported $210m.

All this has led to the launch of a new division dubbed ’CitrusAd, powered by Epsilon’, which was announced at the holding company’s flagship conference, VivaTech today (June 16).

“We are pushing the boundaries of retail media platforms, empowering brands to connect with real people across the full customer journey and make investment decisions that are informed by real-time measurement and validated by transactions,” said Arthur Sadoun, the Publicis Groupe CEO, who has in the past predicted that retail media spend will exceed that of TV by 2025.

Major brands including Tesco, Walmart, Target, CVS and Walgreens have aggressively built out their retail media networks, promising brands the ability to merge in-store shopper data with online data for ad campaigns.

A recent industry survey by adtech firm Criteo, meanwhile, found that while brand marketers are looking to an increasingly diverse list of retailers for display ads, the majority of their agency partners are falling short on their knowledge of the retail media scene.

Plugging the gap, Publicis is claiming to offer the industry’s first self-serve retail media platform. It will allow clients to buy ads on a retailer’s e-commerce site, off-site and in-store, across multiple formats and channels such as sponsored product, display, video, CTV, digital screens and email. All in a single user interface.

This offering brings together the tech it acquired with CitrusAd – which specializes in optimizing the performance of brands directly on e-commerce sites – and Epsilon’s off-site capabilities.

It is also promising measurement capabilities that will provide brands a direct link back to their marketing investment. That is being underpinned by Epsilon’s Core ID solution, the cookie-alternative Publicis developed in partnership with the TradeDesk. The new offering will use more than 300m global privacy-protected Core IDs to tie digital campaigns to on-site and in-store sales.

“The strength of our technology allows us to bring the brand/retailer partnership to a new era, one where both parties can work together to strengthen the backbone of customers’ understanding and enhance their readiness for a cookieless world,” continued Sadoun. “The launch of our unified platform is a critical milestone in helping brands take back control of their customer relationships.”

Publicis Groupe Brand Strategy Retail Media

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