Publicis gets its tentacles on Octopus to net B2B catch

publicisn2Further proof that B2B marketing is the flavour of the month has emerged with Publicis Groupe UK acquiring integrated agency Octopus Group as part of plans to beef up its Power of One proposition.

The move, which comes on the same day that MSQ has set up its own global B2B agency, coincides with a major transformation of the B2B market due to Covid-19.

No doubt Publicis also has an eye on its rivals’ success in the market; it was recently revealed that Merkle’s B2B agencies alone bring in $16bn (£11.9bn) in global billings.

Founded in 2001 as a PR and comms agency, Octopus has about 60 staff and a client list that includes Siemens, Adobe and Logitech. Chief executive and co-founder Jon Lonsdale reckons the agency has continued to grow despite the Covid-19 pandemic and recorded a 30% increase in average project size over the past year. It had estimated revenues of £6.2m.

The agency will now become part of Publicis Groupe’s UK creative practice and sit alongside Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett and Digitas.

Publicis Groupe UK Annette King said: “B2B is such a big growth area in the industry in general. A lot of clients are B2B clients but some clients are [both] B2C and B2B clients, in various different ways, so to be able to really service all of our clients, B2B is a key set of capabilities and expertise that we need.

“Octopus has a proven track record of solving client challenges in ways that transform categories. Bringing them into Publicis Groupe UK as part of our Power of One model, presents a great opportunity for client and agency growth.”

Lonsdale, who said joining a bigger group was an opportunity to scale the business and access Publicis’ data, tech and creative capabilities, added: “Key B2B industries are being transformed and disrupted by technology at warp speed and this signposts an exciting time for B2B brands and their marketing teams. They are relying on agency partners to combine deep commercial insight and creativity to help drive performance.”

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