Saatchi & Saatchi Merges With Digital Shop Duke in France

Publicis Groupe Aligns Two of Its Agencies, Hoping to Net More Business

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Publicis Groupe is taking two key agencies in France -- the French hub of creative network Saatchi & Saatchi and its digital agency Duke -- and combining them into a single entity known as Saatchi & Saatchi Duke, the holding company announced today.

Duke launched in 1999, and has been focused on digital strategy, website development, social media, mobile and branded content. In announcing the move, Publicis indicated that combining the shops could create an integrated offering that may be more competitive in the French ad market.

The newly merged agency will be managed by Elie Ohayon, who has been chairman of Saatchi in France, and Stephane Guerry, who has been running Duke for the past year after being recruited from Havas' EuroRSCG. "By bringing together these two agencies with similar cultures rooted in audacity and creativity, we will develop a fast, nimble and powerful model, and one that is under-represented in the French market," Mr. Ohayon said in a statement.

As part of the move, the 105 staffers of the two shops will be housed at Saatchi's French heaquarters just outside of Paris.

Saatchi & Saatchi's clients in France include: Novartis, General Mills brands Haagen-Dazs and Old El Paso; Procter & Gamble brands Ariel, Pampers and Head & Shoulders; Toyota and Piaget. Duke's clients include: ING Direct, Lipton, Intel, Nissan West Europe and the International Olympic Committee.

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