Publicis Groupe buys full-service agency Rauxa
Publicis Groupe has announced the acquisition of independent full-service marketing agency Rauxa for an undisclosed sum. The shop, which reported around $70 million in net revenue in 2018, will become part of Publicis Media to sit alongside the holding company's other digital properties including Moxie and Digitas.
A Publicis spokeswoman said no one from either agency was available for further comment.
Rauxa, founded by Jill Gwaltney in 1999, is the industry's largest female-led network, according to Publicis, which described Rauxa in statement as being "rooted in data" with offerings spanning media, creative, technology, CRM, strategy and communications. The network houses more than 300 employees in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Dallas. Gwaltney will continue to lead the agency alongside President and CEO Gina Smith. The two will report to David Penski, global CEO of Publicis Media Exchange (PMX), and Tim Jones, regional CEO of the Americas for Publicis Media.
Prior to the deal, Publicis and Rauxa had partnered on shared clients for several years. Rauxa's clients include Verizon, Samsung, Alaska Airlines, Vans and Celgene, among others. Both Samsung and Verizon work with Publicis as well.
R3 Co-Founder and Principal Greg Paull tells Ad Age that the deal "will give Publicis greater depth into one of their largest clients, Samsung, while helping them get more access to Verizon, Rauxa’s largest client." He notes that "the challenge" for Publicis "as always" will be "getting acquired parts to integrate well."
According to the agency's website, Rauxa is a 19-year partner of Verizon, and has helped build technology for the company including one-to-one messaging with its consumers through the use of data-targeting tools such as AI. The agency was also behind the creation of a loyalty program for Alaska Airlines that rewards high-achieving students, intended to help the airline reach a new generation of flyers.
"Twenty years ago, we started Rauxa because we believed that brands would need an agency focused on doing the very best job of one-to-one marketing," Gwaltney said in a statement. "Today our largest priority remains helping clients achieve their goals through this focus. Joining the Publicis Media family gives us that much more firepower and scale to do so."
The acquisition comes a month after Publicis closed on its $4.4 billion deal to buy data-marketing behemoth Epsilon, which is now being rolled out to the holding company's U.S. clients and which recently helped Starcom retain the Novartis global media account.
"With the acquisition of Rauxa, Publicis Groupe is reinforcing its expertise in driving one-to-one consumer engagement for clients," Publicis Groupe Chairman and CEO Arthur Sadoun said in a statement. "The addition of Rauxa's data, tech, media, creative and production expertise will accelerate Publicis Media's and the [group's] ability to deliver across all parts of the consumer journey."