Publicis Groupe to Acquire Tribal, Brazilian Independent Digital Agency

Publicis Groupe has announced that it has acquired the Sao Paulo-based leading digital agency Tribal. With nearly one hundred communications specialists, Tribal is one of Brazil’s top independent interactive agencies. This nationally recognized industry leader offers a complete range of in-house services from strategic brand planning to interactive campaigns and advanced marketing technologies. The Tribal brand will be kept and the agency will be aligned with the Digitas global network. The team will continue to be led by existing management Pierre Mantovani, CEO and Renato Fabri, Chief Creative Officer. Both will now report to Francois de La Villardiere, CEO of Digitas Latin America.

This strategic transaction marks the next step in the international roll-out of the Digitas global network. Publicis Groupe acquired Digitas at the end of 2006. In 2007, Digitas was launched in the UK, in India and Singapore, in China through Publicis Groupe’s acquisition of CCG, as well as in France through the Groupe’s acquisition of Business Interactif. In addition to expanding the Digitas global footprint, the acquisition of Tribal also illustrates Publicis Groupe’s continued strategy of further investing in emerging economies and increasing its revenue share from digital and high-growth markets.

Since its launch in 1998, Tribal has quickly established itself as a national industry leader. The agency has grown to specialize in range of highly-competitive services including Strategic Brand Planning, Marketing Analytics, Media Planning & Buying, Interactive Marketing, Web & Interactive Development, as well as Marketing Technologies. Major clients include Microsoft, Philips, Chrysler and Whirlpool.

Commenting on the announcement, Laura Lang, Chairman & CEO of Digitas, said, “The acquisition of Tribal is key for strengthening our global operations and expanding the Digitas network into Latin America. Brazil is poised for significant growth as Internet/broadband penetration accelerates in the next two years. From a digital perspective, Brazil is vital for our clients and Tribal gives us a center of excellence to leverage in an important growth market.”

Francois de La Villardiere, CEO of Digitas Latin America, “Pierre and his team at Tribal bring strong leadership and a broad range of creative expertise and global clients, everything we need to provide a solid foundation for our Digitas Latam operations.”

Pierre Mantovani, CEO of Tribal, “As we already have an international dimension, with communication campaigns in 20 different countries, joining Digitas and becoming part of Publicis Groupe is a great opportunity for us to operate on a larger scale, while maintaining our identity and our corporate culture.”

Brazil is one of the most promising advertising markets in the world. According to ZenithOptimedia forecasts, the Brazilian ad market grew by 25.1% in 2007, up from 19.4% in 2006. The ad market has been growing well ahead of the wider economy, which has been growing at about 4% a year for the last few years. ZO forecasts a 15.4% total ad expenditure growth for 2008, and double-digit growth for 2009 and 2010.

Publicis Groupe now has nearly 750 employees in Brazil. The Groupe is present through its brands Publicis, Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett, Fallon, and now Digitas.

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