Publicis Groupe, the global advertising and PR giant which is increasingly expanding into a technology services business revealed a strategic partnership with Tencent, one of the two giants of Chinese ecommerce.

The partnership is described as the first-of-its-kind collaboration. It involves the whole of the global advertising group and all 11 products of Tencent, China’s largest internet company. It is also the first partnership to span the Groupe’s three solution hubs of Publicis Media, Publicis Communications and Publicis.Sapient.

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The joint agreement was signed by Maurice Levy, Chairman & CEO of Publicis Groupe, and SY Lau, Senior Executive Vice President of Tencent and President of Online Media Group.

This agreement is based on three pillars:

  • Future Capabilities: Through this partnership, Publicis Groupe and Tencent will launch a ‘Drugstore’ incubation facility. It will curate, invest in and cultivate the start-ups of the future. This will provide breakthrough offerings to our clients in data and ad tech as well as across new VR and AR enabled platforms
  • Data: Through its connected strategy, Tencent will offer Publicis Groupe access to its online behavioral data. Clients should benefit through improved programmatic offerings, cross-screen planning capabilities and conversion performance.
  • Content: The two companies will partner on the co-creation and co-investment of web native content.

Levy said, “China continues to lead the world in advertising growth especially in digital and mobile and we increasingly see new ideas and technology that leapfrog the West.”

For his part SY Lau, Senior Executive Vice President of Tencent and President of Online Media Group said “This bold new partnership with Publicis Groupe, the first of its kind across all of our assets that will lead the global trends and deliver new ways to meet the needs of our clients and business partners.”

He said the collaboration will give brands and organizations around the world a better understanding of China’s unique and dynamic mobile Internet development. It is also designed to create  huge business opportunities associated with this new market.

“Tencent is one of the world’s most influential digital media platforms. Publicis Groupe is one of the global leaders in marketing and communications. Together, we will define the new era for the media industry and unveil a new partnership model.”

Publicis’s acquisitions of companies like Sapient and Razorfish in recent years have catapulted it into the major leagues of digital technology integration. Increasingly it is  pitted it head to head with traditional SI’s like Accenture and KPMG.

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