Publicis Group’s $3.95bn (£3.1bn) acquisition of Epsilon – claimed to provide clients with “data capabilities that are second to none” – has already started to pay dividends after the data-driven specialist linked with Publicis-owned Starcom to secure the global media account for pharma giant Novartis.
Starcom first started working for Basel-based Novartis back 2012, but the business was moved into sister agency Spark Foundry and then back to Starcom last year as part of a global alignment.
The review, which kicked off in April, is the first time that a Publicis agency has worked with Epsilon on a major pitch. In an effort to retain the business, Starcom and Epsilon created a bespoke solution, NovartisOne2, to deliver a data-driven marketing strategy and accelerate business transformation.
Starcom Worldwide global brand president John Sheehy said: “Just as Novartis seeks to reimagine medicine, we too seek to reimagine and transform how we deliver data-driven marketing strategies for our clients.
“Rooted in a data-led, digital-first approach, NovartisOne2 unites Starcom and Epsilon to deliver capability that is agile, collaborative and relentlessly focused driving business outcomes, along with delivering personalised experiences at scale for Novartis’ complex and evolving consumers.”
The account, which covers media planning, buying, data and analytics, includes 60 markets globally and is effective from January 1, 2020. It is not known which other agencies pitched for the business.
Novartis brands include Clozaril, Voltaren, Tegretol, Diovan, Femara and Ritalin, and reach more than 750 million people globally. The group’s creative business is split between different agencies across international markets; last year, VCCP won the UK account, while McCann Worldgroup Europe won the Spanish brief.
When Publicis closed the Epsilon deal in July, Publicis chief executive Arthur Sadoun said that it “propels the group as the global leader of personalised experiences at scale”.
He added: “With the addition of Epsilon’s capabilities in data to our existing creative, media and technology firepower, we have all the necessary assets and talent to help our clients leapfrog their competition and grow profitably, in a data-led, digital-first world.
“Our clients will benefit from a seamless, end-to-end service to solve all their marketing and transformation challenges across creative, media, data and technology. Our focus in the next months will be to successfully execute the integration while implementing our model, the Power of One, with our clients.”
It appears that it has not taken long for the message to hit home among the client community.
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