Publicis Groupe has reportedly informed its staff that the company will be pulling out all awards shows in 2018 – including the Cannes Lions festival.
According to a leaked office memo, the global company’s new chief executive officer Arthur Sadoun has barred all of its agencies from participating in awards shows, trade shows or other paid marketing efforts for more than a year.
The internal office note written by Frank Voris, the CEO of Publicis Groupe’s financial services unit Re:Sources, the company is seeking “2.5 percent cost synergies for 2018”, according to AdWeek.
The memo is also said to have read: “No promotional events. We’re serious about that. No Cannes next year.”
The pullout is intended to move Publicis’ spend towards a new artificial intelligence-powered professional assistant platform named Marcel.The platform, which is in the process of being built, will allegedly allow the company’s 80,000 employees stay connected, identify project opportunities they want to work on in different markets and anticipate clients’ needs with predictive behavior.
The announcement is in keeping with an earlier video in which Sadoun said he wants Publicis Groupe to function as “a platform” rather than a network as part of its larger “Power of One” strategy. In some ways, the Marcel presented in the video above resembles Source, a “gamified” global operating system and collaboration tool developed by Omnicom media agency PHD in 2012.
A Cannes Lions press contact has also not responded to a query regarding Publicis Groupe’s apparent decision to sit out the 2018 festival.