Publicis will quit global awards shows in 2018

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Saatchi & Saatchi NZ may be a no-show at the 2018 Cannes Lions, after parent Publicis Groupe yesterday imposed a ban on all entries to global creative awards shows, according to AdWeek USA. The reason? To save money.

New Paris-based ceo Arthur Sadoun has made his first dramatic mark on the holding company by forbidding all of its agencies around the world from participating in awards shows, trade shows or other paid promotional efforts for more than a year.

He said he wants Publicis Groupe to function as “a platform,” not an agency network.

According to an internal memo written by ceo Frank Voris of Publicis Groupe’s financial services unit Re:Sources, Sadoun’s company is “looking for 2.5% cost synergies for 2018” and hopes to achieve those savings, at least in part, by “eliminating all award/trade shows for the next year”.

The memo notes that Re:Sources “will not participate in any vendor conferences, industry trade shows and/or award shows effective July 1.”

“This is mandatory and exceptions will not be approved,” the memo states. “The award/trade show ban is effective for the entire Groupe, not just Re:Sources,”

Agency networks in the group include Leo Burnett, Saatchi & Saatchi, Publicis Worldwide, BBH, Marcel, Fallon, MSLGROUP and Prodigious.

The Cannes exit news follows the screening of a promotional video at Cannes over the weekend that playfully mocks both the agency and its new French boss, Sadoun:

  • Read the full AdWeek report, by senior editor Patrick Coffee, here

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