On the 16th of February 2021, Publicis Groupe UK announced the acquisition of B2B marketing specialist agency Octopus Group. Publicis Groupe UK has bought the B2B specialist, which will be seated alongside its creative agencies in London, for an undisclosed sum.

Though, the amount spent in the acquisition stays a clandestine, this attainment is already being reputed as a step that will boost the B2B capabilities of the clients.

The leadership at the agency remains the same, and Jon Lonsdale will be the CEO while Pete Hendrick will be the managing director. The 60-strong agency would shift to Publicis’ London campus once the offices open-up again post the lockdown.

The B2B marketing realm, in general, is experiencing a massive transformation as a result of the pandemic. The traditional B2C clients are increasingly searching for alternative ways of protecting revenue and reaching new audience groups.

The streamlining gaps between the B2B and the B2C spaces coupled with a massive spike in the demand for online sales imply how brands are opting for more creative and innovative approaches and partners to connect the dots across the sales funnel and to reach the new audience groups. These approaches will eventually pave the way for stronger e-commerce functionality and will compel marketers to adopt technologies that will allow them to grow and protect their brands online. 

Annette King, CEO of Publicis Groupe, UK described that the acquisition will aid them to supercharge their skillsets. Octopus has a proven track record of helping clients solve their challenges in groundbreaking ways which according to Annette makes them eligible to be part of their Power of One model. The power alliance according to King will provide the two organizations with an impeccable opportunity to fuel their respective growths. 

Magnus Djaba, CEO of the creative practice of Publicis Groupe UK, quoted the significance of the acquisition during the unprecedented times: “The disruption caused by the pandemic means some B2C brands are increasingly adopting a B2B2C approach. Brands are also facing a time of huge technological transformation and disruption, and one of the things that attracted us to Octopus Group is their technology background. We need to understand all the challenges our clients face, from marketing to distribution to commerce to product innovation, to deliver the right creativity at every point in their sales funnel.”

Jon Lonsdale, CEO of Octopus Group described that the acquisition is happening at a pretty exciting time for the B2B brands across the globe as well as for their teams. He added that as the key B2B industries are being transformed and disrupted by technology at lightning speeds, marketers are relying on agency partners to amalgamate in-depth commercial insights and creativity to drive performance. Jon also stated that their team is looking forward to being a part of the community that understands the importance of creativity within the B2B space. He also added that their team is looking forward to providing exemplary experiences to the target audience groups by offering even greater access to expertise and scale and by building brands and driving sales internationally.

About Publicis Groupe UK

Publicis Groupe UK is the third-largest communications group in the world and a leader in the marketing, communication, and digital business transformation space.

The platform stands at the intersection of marketing and digital business transformation and is driven by the alchemy of creativity and technology. Publicis Groupe is built on The Power of One and provides its clients with seamless expertise of its 80,000 offerings across four Solution hubs: a) creative with Publicis Communications (Publicis Worldwide, Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett, BBH, Marcel, Fallon, MSL, Prodigious) b) media services with Publicis Media (Starcom, Zenith, Spark Foundry, Blue 449, Performics, Digitas) c) digital business transformation with Publicis Sapient and d) health & wellness communications with Publicis Health. Publicis Groupe’s agencies have a presence in over 100 countries across the globe.

The company is headquartered in Paris, Ile de France, and was founded in the year 1926 by Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet (“father of French advertising”). The company specializes in advertising, digital transformation, marketing, production, communications, consulting, media, technology, healthcare communications, and PR & Strategic Communications.

About Octopus Group

Founded in the year 2001, Octopus Group has won several industry awards including the B2B Marketing Grand Prix, and today its 60 strong teams work with some of the most esteemed clients across the globe such as Siemens, Adobe, Grand Prix, ACI Worldwide, and Smartsheet. Despite the pandemic crisis, the agency has grown revenue from 2019 and seen a 30% uplift in average project size. The agency headquartered in Farringdon will move to Publicis Groupe UK’s Chancery Lane Offices and will sit alongside agencies such as Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett, and Digitas.

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