LBi and Digitas to merge after Publicis buy

12/02/2013

US-based agency Digitas is merging with Dutch agency LBi, as parent company Publicis looks to consolidate its global digital marketing network.

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The new entity will be called DigitasLBi, and will be lead by LBi chief executive Luke Taylor, Publicis Groupe.

DigitasLBi will have a total of 5,700 employees across 25 countries. Clients include American Express, Coca-Cola, Delta, eBay, L’Oréal, Johnson & Johnson, Nissan, Sprint, and Starbucks.aylor will directly to Bob Lord, CEO of Publicis Groupe’s Digital Technology Division.

Last year, Publicis Groupe bought Amsterdam-based LBi for €416m. The deal was completed last Thursday having initially been announced last year.

French ad giant Publicis Groupe bought Digitas in a $1.3 billion cash deal 6 years ago. Digitas employs 620 people in its Boston office.

A senior team of LBi, Digitas and Publicis Groupe executives will oversee the merger process, led by Stephan Beringer, CEO, Digitas and Razorfish International, it has been announced.

The announcement also claimed that the new entity would offer an ‘end-to-end’ proprietary technology suite’ through the offer of LBi’s Audience Engagement Platform and Digitas’ CRM365 Intelligence Platform and BrandLIVE to clients.

Despite the merger, Colin Kinsella will continue as chief executive of Digitas North America and Ewen Sturgeon will remain chief executive of LBi, Europe, Middle East and Asia.

Social media agency MRY will remain a standalone entity however, and will continue to be led by founder and CEO Matt Britton.

In a statement, Maurice Lévy, chairman and chief executive of Publicis Groupe, said, “The combination of Digitas and LBi will create the world’s leading concentration of digital skills and competencies in the world, capable of delivering solutions to all clients, everywhere.”

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