Google’s Tim Armstrong, president North American advertising and commerce, and Penry Price, vice-president of North American sales, with Digitas Chairman and CEO David Kenny will lead the global Google-Publicis partnership.
Abby Klaasen broke the news late last night in Advertising Age. The news tops off a terrific week for Digitas, which won the P&G Crest digital account. Crest is P&G’s second biggest spending brand online. Should be interesting to see what products Google engineers can build to help digital agencies scale their business.
At the World Economic Forum in Davos, the Google Publicis partnership elicited a scathing exchange between WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell and Publicis CEO Maurice Levy. (Google CEO Eric Schmidt was, in effect, switzerland.)
Nikki Sandison of Brand Republic reported the barbs traded by Sorrell and Levy this weekend. Sir Martin Sorrell told Reuters:
“Next time I meet with Eric Schmidt, I think we’ll send out a press release. This morning I met with Maurice Levy, does this mean we’re putting together a joint venture?
“What Publicis is doing represents a little bit of a concern that they didn’t get the technology right. I think Maurice is acknowledging a bit of an Achilles heel when it comes to technology.”
No comment from CEO-engineer Eric Schmidt, but technologist/engineer CEO Maurice Levy didn’t take the slight lightly, telling Reuters:
“I’m sorry Martin said that — it’s really cheap, but it’s probably the result of his lack of understanding of technology.
“He’s a financier, I’m an engineer, and you can see the difference. I’m pleased with what we have done, and I’m sorry that my dear friend has not understood it.”
With “dear friends” like that, who needs frenemies?