Publicis Groupe Picks Up Much of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Business

Publicis Worldwide in New York Will Be Leading Creative

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Credit: Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Publicis Groupe has picked up much of the Hewlett Packard Enterprise's global business after a review.

A spokeswoman for HPE confirmed the move. "HPE has made the decision to transition the marketing work currently being done by BBDO, Doremus, Rapp and OMG to Publicis," said the company in a statement. "This decision does not impact the strong relationships that HPE has with Omnicom agencies Ketchum, Siegel + Gale, Interbrand and GMR."

The spokeswoman didn't provide further details, saying that "it's a holding company solution, so we aren't going to break that out," but according to people familiar with the matter, Publicis Worldwide in New York will be the lead creative agency, with Prodigious, Digitas LBi, Optimedia and Razorfish handling other aspects of the business. Ark Advisors was the consultant on the review.

Publicis Worldwide declined to comment, but in an internal memo, Publicis Communications' top exec Arthur Sadoun said: "What started in February as a creative pitch involving Publicis Worldwide in New York quickly snowballed. HPE, recognising the transformative capabilities of our agency, asked to see more. This enquiry led to a broader discussion about the Groupe and, before we knew it, we were exploring the potential of a global solution -- one that would leverage the might of our company to help this iconic brand win in a fiercely competitive market."

Hewlett-Packard Co. on Nov. 1, 2015, split into two public companies: HP Inc. (personal computers and printers) and Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. (information-technology services, software, storage and servers).

BBDO had been the lead creative agency on the account, but did not participate in the review. In March, Ad Age reported that according to executives with knowledge of the situation, BBDO determined it would be unable to work with HPE moving forward due to the agency's belief that it would be in direct conflict with AT&T's enterprise business, which BBDO handles. BBDO still handles creative for HP Inc.

The move is a sign that since its reorganization Publicis Group has gotten more serious about providing holding-company level solutions for clients. Just last month, Publicis launched the formation of a new entity for Walmart's U.S. creative and in-store marketing. That relationship is being led by Mr. Sadoun, who after the Publicis Group reorganization oversees agencies including Saatchi & Saatchi and Leo Burnett.

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