Mark Ritson: Publicis Groupe has done nothing but prove agile structures are a load of bullshit

Mark RItson (1).jpg
A year on from Arthur Sadoun's explosive start as CEO of Publicis Groupe, it is abundantly clear that most, if not all, of his extravagant claims, from the disappointment of Marcel to the about-turn on Cannes, are nothing more than the usual agency posturing. So says Australia's Mark Ritson [left], Adjunct Professor of Marketing at Melbourne Business School, in this no-holds-barred piece for Marketing Week UK

There was a flurry of press coverage a year ago when Publicis Groupe announced Arthur Sadoun would replace long-serving chief executive Maurice Lévy. The media frenzy was understandable. Publicis is one of the big five advertising agency networks and Lévy had been running the groupe for two decades.

A change at the helm was always going to be newsworthy but Sadoun wasted no time making his mark on the agency group and generating a bundle of new headlines. On 20 June last year he dropped three simultaneous bombshells.

6 Comments

Steve Dodds said:

As usual, the perceptively acerbic Mr Ritson has hit the nail squarely on the head.

Agencies don't need to be agile, they need to be creatively and strategically consistent (and good).

We all love to worship Apple as the exemplar of everything worth striving for in a modern company.

Apple is about the least agile company you can imagine. They epitomise conservativatism. Instead they stick to what they do best, do it very well, refuse to bend to whims, and follow a consistent strategy.

Richest company ever.

Contrast them with, say Tesla. Tesla chase every whim that flits past Elon Musk's desk.

They do nothing well and will probably go bust in a year or so.

Collaborative platforms like Marcel are a dime a dozen, and as risible in their effectiveness as hot desking.

The pone thing I wish Publicis had stuck to was using the money they spend on Cannes to do something more useful for their clients and staff.

Alas, fear of being different (and the appeal of the Riviera) seem to have put paid to that.

Reality said:

Someone needs to genuinely call bullshit on publicis /LEOs

@steve dodds said:

Apple epitomise conservatism?

Maybe now they do, but they got where they are by taking huge huge risks

@stevedodds said:

You really have no idea do you. Have you ever worked with apple?

Wrongvestment said:

Not sure it warrants an article, but I guess if it’s a quiet news week and you need to get your name out there, sure go shoot some fish in a barrel.

Good on you Publicis, you’ve observed your slow decline in creative standings around the globe and decided to do something about it. The only oversight being if you create a way to connect the sluggish B grade creatives together through Marcel, you don’t create a super creative, you create a sluggish B grade creative with more of the same ideas but now they’re slightly less relevant.

Look at what the best in the world are investing in.... the best people.

Me thinks said:


Looks like someone has finally cottoned on to the Publicis Empire's New Clothes.

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