Publicis Gets Its PR On

This month’s Fast Company has quite the puff piece on Publicis and its assorted ventures, including Digitas, Droga5, and how it’s all coming together.
Here’s a choice nugget you may not have known about Digitas and its CEO, David Kenny:

Kenny has focused on transformative, systemwide initiatives since arriving at Publicis. In May, he rolled out a digital production company called Prodigious Worldwide, which uses workers in low-cost countries like Costa Rica and Ukraine to build the thousands of iterations of ads that clients of all the Publicis agencies use to reach consumers on cell phones, computers, and, eventually, TV. According to Prodigious president Corey Torrence, that effort is already saving participating agencies between 30% and 60% on production costs. Then, in June, Kenny convened a family gathering in Paris to discuss how Publicis could win in digital as a group. Tom Eslinger, Saatchi’s worldwide creative director for interactive, sat in on the meeting and has since used Prodigious to build the back end of a variety of labor-intensive interactive campaigns. “I’ve got more heavy-duty stuff coming down the pipeline, on a scale bigger than we would do in-house,” he says. “Now I don’t have to have people crunching out 300 Web pages or 50 banner ads.”

I guess it’s a new iteration of French colonialism, getting third-world peons to tackle the gruntwork. Is any other agency outsourcing its work like that on such a mass scale?

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About Dan Goldgeier

Blogging on AdPulp since 2005, Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. In addition, he is a regular columnist for TalentZoo.com. Dan published the best of his TalentZoo.com columns in a book entitled View From The Cheap Seats: A Broader Look at Advertising, Marketing, Branding, Global Politics, Office Politics, Sexual Politics, and Getting Drunk During a Job Interview. Look for it on Amazon in paperback and e-book editions.

  • matthew123

    Currently, Sapient has roughly 5,800 employees. Over half in India supporting interactive platforms.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sapient_%28company%29

  • kamakazi

    I think at some point they all will be. The dirty secret about interactive today is that its more production oriented than it is idea focused. Clients don’t know what to ask for and agencies are all to eager to propose massive site overhauls just to make easy dollars. Using foreign workers on the cheap just puts more coins in their pocket.

  • fortyver

    Ah, the mystery of the missing creative jobs is solved. Probably not the smartest move that the industry has ever made. More churning out of mass produced drivel, and not taking an introspective look to see what we have not been doing well for a long, long , long time. Thanks Publicis for screwing us creatives.

  • True

    This is going to happen more and more. I predict alot of agencies are even going to start outsourcing their concepting soon, instead of just their production.
    It’s a warning to all of us “creatives” that we’d better bust our ass to continually live up to that title.
    Because if we’re just going to churn out the same bad to mediocre stuff, that’s alot cheaper to do overseas. Not to mention the good talent around the world that could step in our shoes, here and there.
    We must continually pursue kickass creativity and innovation in everything we do, because being a “maker of ads” seems to not be a long-term job prospect unless we want to move overseas. Which i personally wouldn’t mind at all but may turn off some.