Publicis Groupe to Acquire Performics Search Marketing Biz from Google

Publicis Groupe and Google have announced that Publicis Groupe has agreed to acquire the Performics search marketing business (Performics) from Google. Chicago-based Performics,one of the leading search marketing services providers, helps to improve the performance of advertisers’ investments and maximize client campaign effectiveness. Its profit-driving suite of marketing solutions includes Performics’ reporting platform, local platform,advanced market expertise and active account management.

The acquisition of Performics will enrich Publicis Groupe’s strong search capabilities and strengthen the offering of the VivaKi Nerve Center, a new strategic entity launched by the Groupe last June.VivaKi leverages the collective scale of Digitas, Starcom-MediaVest,Denuo and Zenith-Optimedia to develop new services, tools and partnerships, including new and emerging performance marketing platforms. The VivaKi Nerve Center includes a number of performance marketing assets, including Phonevalley, Webformance, Click2Sales and iBase. The addition of Performics will deliver a full and enhanced suite of performance marketing tools and capabilities to Publicis Groupe agencies and their clients.

Launched in 1998, Performics now employs nearly 200 search marketing specialists with employees in Chicago, San Francisco, New York,London, Hamburg, Sydney, Singapore and Beijing. The business will report into Curt Hecht, President of the VivaKi Nerve Center.

Performics will position Publicis Groupe and its clients to capitalize on the increasingly profitable search spending market. According to Jupiter Media, the search market represented an estimated $9.9BN in 2008 and is projected to grow at a 12% compound annual growth rate through 2012. Performics has over 150 search engine marketing (SEM) clients, representing over 200 top global brands.

“Publicis Groupe has been a leader in the advertising industry for decades, and we believe Performics’ growing business will benefit from being part of it,” said Eric Schmidt, Chairman and CEO, Google. “We look forward to working with Performics as a partner.”

Maurice Lévy, Chairman & CEO of Publicis Groupe, commented, “The acquisition of Performics will position the Groupe for significant growth by delivering a broad portfolio of clients into our operations.Performics will also bring widely-recognized talent and capabilities that can be embedded into the client teams inside Digitas, Starcom MediaVest Group and ZenithOptimedia. Not only will this acquisition bring critical mass to Publicis Groupe’s formidable Search capabilities, but it will also enhance our affiliate marketing and overall performance marketing offering.”

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2008.

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