Monday, June 12, 2017


By Roger Pe
Business Mirror
June 12, 2017 issue

Sparkle like a luminous star. Transform. Integrate. Throughout the interview, Nicolas Menat, CEO of Publicis One Asia, the global creative enterprise unifying all Publicis agency brands (Leo Burnett, Saatchi & Saatchi, Bartle Bogle Hegarty and other assets) kept mentioning the last word.

Menat drummed up the point that it is through integration of resources, knowledge and talents that will drive the already dynamic ad agency network to further success. “It maybe complex but it is the recipe for winning together,” he said.

Parallel to integration, Menat stressed the importance of transformation or reinventing oneself in the light of a volatile business landscape that is experiencing dramatic changes all over the world. “It is happening within a short span of time, everyone, including organizations, must transform,” he said. 

“Every business is facing integration. We need to understand the transformation that is happening around us, most especially, in our client partners in order to sharpen our business competency,” he explained.

The tall, amiable and sharp CEO of one of the world’s most awarded networks, flew into town for his regular Asia managing chores, and while in Manila, sat in the jury of 2017 Tambuli Awards.

Publicis One handles the larger bulk of Nestle business in the Philippines, long-time client Procter and Gamble, McDonald’s, Pfizer, GM, Cebu-Pacific, Metrobank and other high profile brands. 

At the core of its group is Leo Burnett Manila, an ad agency that has gone a remarkable transformation, from a raw, local ad agency (Hemisphere) to a hot shop with a multinational culture to the top of the industry’s creative totem pole. Today, it is a sterling agency having won its stripes in many tough local, regional and global awards competitions. 

Among them was a gold in last year’s Campaign Asia-Pacific Creative Agency of the Year Awards, a show that recognizes inspired leadership, management excellence, outstanding business performance, and overall achievement in advertising and communications industry in the region. 

Burnett also won the Digital Marketer of the Year Boomerang grand plum, having swept most of the awards organized by the Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines (IMMAP) last year. 

Last year, the 4As (Association of Accredited Advertising Agencies of the Philippines) honored it with the Agency of the Year award, along with Best in Market Performance, Digital Excellence, Best in Creative and Effectiveness, and Best in Creative and Effectiveness (Activation category).

Responsive, Client-Solutions Centered

Menat mentioned Amazon, the most innovative company in America that was built around constant transformation and change and is going great guns because they are building, buying, and are integrating. (Amazon has built its own unique brands and has brought almost 30 companies in thirty years). 

The e-commerce giant inspires Menat, because it has a solid foundation, with new technology and constantly introduces new ways of doing things. And that’s what he wants to see Publicis One doing to its clients.

“You log in, you choose, you buy, you get what you want, fast, and the next thing you see, it’s delivered to your doorsteps,” he exclaimed.

Menat talked about digital media, the most-talked about media platform today. “We are the best in this class and we would like to continue being the benchmark - to transform and ultimately help the consumers experience a better life,” he said.

What is he as a person? “I would like to be myself. I trust people. My management style is sharing governance. Let’s go and do it together and help push people to be the best that they can be,” he proudly said. “I like creating an environment where people can be their own CEOs. I don’t breathe down their necks,” he added.

As admen, Menat stressed the need to be right there when clients’ transformation happens. “We have to in order to be able to become transformers ourselves,” he said.

His thoughts on traditional media: Menat explained that television, anywhere in the world, would still be at the center of the spectrum because it is a medium where families get together and bond more intimately than other media. Newspapers, he said, should reinvent themselves. “It’s old and sometimes, filled with fake news.”

Agency Of The Future

Last year, Maurice Levy, CEO, started a very significant transformation of Publicis Groupe that included the creation of the all-new global communications enterprise, Publicis One. 

The creation of Publicis One is the best testament of commitment to evolve, in order to drive profitable growth and create value for clients’ brands in the competitive business landscape today. 

It is a strategic reorganization of Publicis One’s best capabilities and talents around the world into a model that allows it to be more creative and to move nimbly and efficiently.  

Publicis One is a global communications enterprise that brings together Publicis Groupe’s agency capabilities and expertise under one roof, operating across Publicis Groupe’s four Solutions: Publicis Communications (Publicis Worldwide with Leo Burnett, Saatchi & Saatchi and BBH), Publicis Media (Starcom, Zenith, Mediavest Spark, Blue 499), Publicis.Sapient (SapientNitro, DigitasLBi, Razorfish, Sapient Consulting) and Publicis Health (Digitas Health, Publicis LifeBrands, Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness). 

It has more than 8,000 employees in 55 countries, with operation spread across Latin America, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia. 

Data-Driven Creativity

Creativity is the most important source of competitive advantage in business today. The evolvement of marketing as a result of digital media revolution and technology advancement, driving the need for a new kind of creativity that is empowered by data and enabled by digital technology. 

Publicis One is proud to count some of the world’s most recognized creative, digital, technology, PR, media, research, production agencies aligned and working towards the success of its clients’ brands.

Integrator of Specialists

Publicis One is built with clients’ interest at the center. The increasing fragmentation of industry has gotten to a point when integrating marketing communications becomes too difficult and costly. 

Publicis One breaks down the barriers for more effective integration. Concurrently, the communications needs of marketers today are increasingly moving towards specialized capabilities. Publicis One’s model is created to address these two needs to be a top integrator of best-in-class specialists.

Power Of One

Unifying the Publicis Groupe’s assets under one roof gives Publicis One operations scale, flexibility, and accessibility to a diverse set of expertise and capabilities. This is a key advantage that enables it to efficiently derive objective, effective solutions for brands, be it integrated or specialized.

“As we continue to transform our agency model around the world operating as Publicis One, it is pertinent for us to keep the spotlight firmly on creativity and more specifically, the brand of creativity we want to become as Publicis One,” Menat stressed.

Publicis One’s brands represent value for business. They work closer together and more effectively, tapping into all Publicis Groupe resources. Brands stay connected with their respective networks (be it Zenith, Leo Burnett, Starcom, Saatchi & Saatchi or Publicis) beyond Publicis One.

Publicis One represents a new way of working that is crucial to our business today and brings greater integration, optimization and value creation that will bring benefits and growth for our clients’ business and our operation. 

“One leader, one P&L (Profit and Loss) will eliminate silos and make the decision-making process easier and faster thereby allowing smooth flow of resources to be directed to where they are needed most,” Menat said.

About Menat

Menat started his career at Havas in 1987, after graduating from a business school in Paris, France. He then joined Leo Burnett France (today, part of the Publicis Groupe) in 1989, and had since built his career within the Publicis Groupe, spending 11 years in Paris, 2 years in Chicago, and 3 years in Frankfurt, prior to coming to Tokyo in 2005. 

He worked on a broad range of international clients such as Philip Morris, Procter & Gamble, McDonald’s, Kellogg’s, Diageo, L’OrĂ©al, AXA, Sanofi, among many others.

In January 2007, Menat was appointed President, Representative Director of Beacon communications in Tokyo, a fully integrated agency with more than 300 people and with partnership between Publicis Groupe (66%) and Dentsu (34%). It has made its success, primarily by focusing effort in making global brands locally relevant and successful in Japan.

He was was appointed CEO of Publicis One in Asia (Japan, Korea, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam) in January 2016.