Publicis deepens retail media play with CitrusAd deal
Publicis Groupe has agreed to acquire retailer media platform CitrusAd for an undisclosed sum, giving the holding company a major play in a global retailer advertising space lifted in the past year by the pandemic-fueled explosion of e-commerce and impending end of third-party cookies for targeting.
Publicis Chairman-CEO Arthur Sadoun said in a statement that the deal gives his company “a strong competitive advantage in a channel that by 2025 should surpass traditional TV spend.”
CitrusAd is an Australian-based software-as-a-service platform that lets brands buy media on and off retailer websites, relying on first-party shopper data from multiple retailers. It operates across 70 retailers in 22 countries and six industries serving more than 4,000 brands concentrated heavily in packaged goods but also encompassing office, apparel and other general merchandise marketers.
Besides the top 10 retailers in Australia, CitrusAd has developed a growing global footprint, with 50% of its volume in the U.S. and retailers that include Tesco, Macy’s, Lowe’s, Petco, Kohl’s, Harris Teeter, HyVee, Shipt, Ocado and ShopRite.
Publicis Groupe in a release said it expects annual CPG e-commerce sales to have doubled by 2023 vs. 2019 levels and to double again within five years from the current $30 billion.
By combining CitrusAd’s access to retail data with Publicis-unit Epsilon’s offsite retail media database and CORE ID database of consumers, the holding company says it will create “the industry’s first global retail media offer based on real identity.”
Part of the appeal is likely to be the capability to help brands match their own first-party data with data from participating CitrusAD retailers. But the system also allows marketers to target campaigns using retailers’ own segmentation systems, either individually or across multiple retailers. Part of CitrusAd’s proposition is also allowing brands to measure the real-time transaction performance on an item-by-item basis across their buys using the retailer data.
“Retailers and brands are entering uncharted territory as retail media grows,” said Brad Moran, co-founder and CEO of CitrusAd, “and having Publicis supporting CitrusAd in its efforts, I know that our customers will reap the benefit of a century’s worth of media expertise combined with high-quality technology and a team of retail media experts."