French advertising and PR company Publicis Groupe has made the decision for it, and all its agencies, to sit out all festivals, awards and industry events for the next year in order to save money to focus on the development of AI.
The Groupe plans to unveil its Marcel professional assistant at Viva Technology in Paris next June, while resuming its participation at events in September 2018. Marcel will harness the power of AI and machine learning to connect 80,000 employees across 200 disciplines in 130 countries. It is intended to help these employees to identify opportunities, anticipate clients’ needs, connect people, and unleash creativity.
“For the next 12 months, we will make Marcel a priority in terms of investment. Because we need to choose our battle, we will pause our involvement in festivals, award shows and industry events for a year, and meet at Viva Tech next June for the launch of Marcel,” said Arthur Sadoun, Publicis Groupe CEO.
“We want to tap into our best talent wherever they are – inside the Groupe or outside. We want to celebrate the brilliant minds that are actually creating what we stand for. Big ideas that transform the business of our clients. Together, we can change the way we work and… change the way the industry works because our best ideas are yet to come.”
Publicis says that Marcel’s features are inspired by the results of a global talent survey, which revealed insight into how people within the company want to work in the future. The Groupe says it will bring together some of the strategists, engineers and creative developers to build Marcel, and that is intended to break every silo and bring people around the world together.
“Publicis' strategic move into Artificial Intelligence is hugely encouraging and it's great see agencies taking AI seriously,” said Stephen Upstone, CEO and co-founder of LoopMe. “AI is so much more than just cost saving and has applications across all of advertising and marketing. In doing away with siloed working, they're putting client needs at the core of their business. I'm excited to see how this will transform their organisation.”