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?