Carre Noir is the latest addition to Publicis Consultants' Language and Design division, which swallowed up leading French packaging designer Ekonos in 2000. The division employs a staff of 120, and should see gross income topping $14 million in 2001 from work for clients including banking giant BNP-Paribas, travel specialist Club Med, telecoms leader SFR and Franco-Canadian communications, entertainment and utilities powerhouse Vivendi Universal. Publicis Consultants President Eric Giuily says the ongoing build-up of the Language and Design division is part of a strategy to put design at the heart of corporate communications consulting operations carried out by the agency.
For Publicis President Maurice Levy, the Carre Noir acquisition -- price undisclosed -- and the subsequent reinforcement of the Language and Design division, signals the French group's willingness "to provide its clients ... a high-level, global and integrated service." Aside from the Carre Noire acquistion, Mr. Levy also announced strong preliminary financial results for 2000, including a 72% billings hike over the previous year, to just under $11 billion.
The figure bears testimony to the wide-ranging global expansion carried out by the French group during 2000, but only includes fourth quarter billings from recently acquired U.K.-based Saatchi & Saatchi. Excluding the Saatchi & Saatchi acquisition, Publicis billings grew by 48% in 2000, while pure organic growth of existing operations topped 15%, stoked by new business topping $1.6 billion, Mr. Levy said. In terms of geographic distribution, billings grew by 14% in Publicis' key European market, 15% in the North American market, and more than 20% in the rest of the world.
Copyright February 2001, Crain Communications Inc.