Publicis Groupe (Paris:PUB) today announced the acquisition of Paris-based Phonevalley, leading European agency in mobile marketing and communications. Phonevalley will become the mobile marketing arm of Publicis Groupe Media (PGM), comprising the two global media networks Starcom Mediavest Group (SMG) and ZenithOptimedia (ZO). Already present in five European countries (France, UK, Spain, Germany, and Italy), Phonevalley will continue to implement its offering in Europe throughout the PGM networks, and will service the respective clients of SMG and ZO. This acquisition makes Publicis Groupe the first global marketing group with a network committed exclusively to mobile communications.
Mobile communications are rapidly taking an increasingly important share of adspend, as is the case with other forms of digital and interactive advertising. According to ZenithOptimedia forecasts, mobile adspend reached $871M worldwide in 2006, and is expected to reach $1.4 billion in 2007. Interactive and mobile advertising and communications is in rapid development, taking advantage of all of the technological potential of digital communications and lying right at the heart of media convergence. With 2 billion mobile phone subscribers in the world1, mobile marketing is particularly attractive given the immediate and valuable measurement it provides to advertisers.
Founded in 2000 by Alexandre Mars, Phonevalley today employs more than 60 mobile communication experts. The agency develops and provides a wide range of mobile solutions including SMS, MMS, WAP and also manages purchases of banner ads and key words on mobiles. Its close contacts with the main European mobile carriers allow it to bring the most up-to-date available innovations and services to clients. In 2006, Phonevalley managed over 1000 campaigns for clients, such as Paramount, SNCF, T-online, Virgin, Mondadori, The PhoneHouse, Air France, Colgate Palmolive, Sony, Canal+, and Universal. Phonevalley has already been working with different networks within Publicis Groupe for several years, and this acquisition extends and solidifies this fruitful collaboration. The international deployment of Phonevalley will allow Publicis Groupe clients to have the most extensive offer in mobile communications and to benefit from the renowned know-how of leaders in this field.
Alexandre Mars, 32 years old, will become Head of Mobile, Publicis Groupe Media EMEA and will continue to manage Phonevalley. PGM management board members, Nick Pahade and Adrian Sayliss, have been appointed to the Phonevalley board.
Jack Klues, Chairman, Publicis Groupe Media, declared “Mobile communications play an increasingly critical role in the lives of consumers, particularly in the ‘my media’ world of individual choice and control. The opportunities to build meaningful consumer connections through mobile marketing and advertising potentially have no limit, and thanks to the expertise of Alexandre Mars and Phonevalley, we will give our clients a leading advantage in this area. This acquisition gives ZenithOptimedia and Starcom MediaVest Group an unprecedented scope of services in this rapidly evolving medium.”
Nick Pahade, Executive Director of Digital Development, Publicis Groupe Media, and President of Denuo, added “We are looking forward to taking Phonevalley’s expertise and applying it globally in developing the mobile strategy for Publicis Groupe Media. We welcome Alexandre and his teams on board.”
Alexandre Mars, Founder of Phonevalley concluded “We are very excited to become part of Publicis Groupe so that our expertise can benefit from its international dimension. We need to reach a critical size to better answer to our client needs, and this move will give us the global reach we need for our international development.”
About Publicis Groupe
Publicis Groupe (Euronext Paris: FR0000130577 and NYSE: PUB) is the world’s fourth largest communications group, as well as world’s second largest media counsel and buying group. With activities spanning 104 countries on five continents, the Groupe employs approximately 42,000 professionals.
The Groupe’s communication activities cover advertising, through three autonomous global advertising networks: Leo Burnett, Publicis, Saatchi & Saatchi, as well as through its two multi-hub networks Fallon Worldwide and 49%-owned Bartle Bogle Hegarty; media consultancy and buying through two worldwide networks ZenithOptimedia and Starcom MediaVest Group; interactive and digital marketing, marketing services and specialized communications including direct marketing, public relations, corporate and financial communications, event communications, multicultural and with a worldwide leadership in healthcare communications.
Web site: www.publicisgroupe.com
About Publicis Groupe Media
Publicis Groupe Media (PGM) is comprised of Starcom MediaVest Group and ZenithOptimedia, and is the world’s second largest media counsel and buying organizations. PGM employs more than 10,200 specialists delivering media management services, internet and digital communications, response media, entertainment marketing, sports sponsorships, event marketing and multicultural media.
The Starcom MediaVest Group (www.smvgroup.com) network extends across 110 offices in 67 countries. SMG emphasizes contact innovation and the delivery of Connections that Captivate, evaluated and measured through a suite of ownable approaches, tools, practices and partnerships.
ZenithOptimedia (www.zenithoptimedia.com) is a media agency network with 175 offices in 69 countries. Its focus is delivering client return on advertising investment, an approach delivered through a unique system for strategy development and implementation, The ROI Blueprint.
Phonevalley, European leader in mobile marketing and communications, is present in five European countries. Responding to the needs of the rapidly growing market (with nearly 400 million mobile users in Europe), Phonevalley develops and markets a wide range of mobile products and solutions (SMS, Wap, MM, i-mode, as well as the purchase of keywords and banners on mobile supports). Phonevally works directly with media, brands, advertisers, marketing and communications agencies, telecommunications operators and others. Phonevalley’s expertise, experience and technological capabilities are what give it a real leading position in this sector. This expertise is recognized by its many clients (Sony, BNP-Paribas, Carrefour, Euronext, Adidas, Orange, Telefonica, Wind, Universal, neuf, Ford, Numericable, T-online. ..).
Web site: www.phonevalley.com
1 Source: eMarketer