Publicis merges global agencies Blue 449 and Spark Foundry

06 Mar 2019  |  Michaela Jefferson 
Publicis merges global agencies Blue 449 and Spark Foundry

Advertising network Publicis has merged two of its six media agencies - Blue 449 and Spark Foundry - with Chris Boothe to lead the new global network.

The unified network will operate under the Spark Foundry brand in the majority of markets, however Blue 449 will continue to operate locally in the UK, US and France to service domestic clients.

Boothe, Spark Foundry's global brand president, is to lead the network, while Phil Georgiadis, global chairman of Blue 449 and Publicis Media UK, has elected to step down 21 years after founding the agency (formerly Walker Media) in 1998.

"Now is the right time for me to move on," Georgiadis said, adding that he has been both "fully involved" and "supportive" of the new network strategy, and is "delighted" that Blue 449 will retain its position in the UK market.

"In truth, they are doing a brilliant job without me," he said.

Both Blue 449 and Spark Foundry will be led in the UK by CEO Simon Davis, who will now operate across both brands. According to Publicis, practices including investment, performance, data sciences and content will offer a "clear structural point of difference" between the two.

Meanwhile, Boothe said he is "excited" to expand Spark Foundry's global offering following multiple international new business wins last year, including Marriott and Lenovo (global), Mondelez (multi-market), Macy's and Audible.

“Further, I am thrilled to welcome the Blue449 talent and clients to the Spark Foundry family," he added.

"I’m confident these clients will benefit from continuing to work with the talent who know them and their business well, now backed by Spark Foundry’s unique HEAT proposition strongly resonating and delivering for clients around the world.”

The news is the latest addition to a trend of large advertising networks consolidating their agency brands. Last year saw WPP merge VML and Y&R into one brand, as well as Wunderman and J. Walter Thompson.

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