Publicis Creates New Digital Ad Network, Aims For 25 Percent Online Revenue

In December, Paris-based advertising group Publicis Groupe [NYSE: PUB], the world’s fourth largest ad agency, acquired online ad network Digitas for $1.3 billion. Today it explained how the purchase would fit in. Publicis is going to create a dedicated international digital advertising network called Publicis Modem. The resources for that will come from Digitas’ Boston subsidiary Modem Media, which will be rebranded under the new title and expanded internationally. Both it and Publicis’ existing Dialog interactive arm will be headed by current Modem Media president Martin Reidy, who will become CEO. (Guardian).

Thanks to the Digitas acquisition, 15 percent of Publicis revenue now comes from digital, but the company aims to ramp that up to 25 percent by 2010, it said. Publicis today reported a 6.5 percent rise in Q1 revenue to EU 1.05 billion ($1.5 billion). Chairman Maurice Levy said the Digitas integration was “unfolding very smoothly,” according to Media Guardian). Levy reckons the Digitas acquisition was “a defining moment in our industry”: “Since then there has been a frenzy of interest in the digital sector if you look at DoubleClick and the interest in 24/7 Real Media; you can see that something very different is happening from what we saw at the end of last year.”