NEWS24 May 2018

Publicis launches internal AI platform

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FRANCE – Publicis Groupe has launched testing of Marcel, a global AI platform for staff aimed at improving the holding group’s processes and interaction between its agencies.

Marcel logo publicis_crop

Paris-headquartered Publicis says the platform will make connections between its 80,000 employees globally, in a bid to create a “borderless enterprise workforce”. The eventual objective is that the tool will create more collaboration across the group’s agencies, recommending employees for projects based on their skills.

Built on Microsoft AI and Knowledge Graph technologies, it will centralise the group’s structured and unstructured data and map relationships between different data sources.

The tool has launched to a test team of 100 users, with a beta release for 1,000 people planned for June. The company aims to have 90% of its staff using the platform in the next two years. During the beta phase, the company will make updates based on feedback, with rollout to its full workforce planned to begin in January 2019.

The platform is initially launching as a mobile application, with planned future versions to include desktop. Employees will be able to use the app to make queries, and each day will receive six prompts as part of a tailored ‘daily digest’.

Publicis reorganised itself into four divisions in 2016, under a strategy it calls ‘power of one', in a bid to move away from network silos. 

The group announced that it was developing the AI platform last June at the same time as it said it would reallocate a year’s worth of spend from conferences and award schemes – including withholding involvement in Cannes Lions this year – towards the tool.

Arthur Sadoun, chairman and chief executive, Publicis Groupe, said: “Marcel is a journey to shift Publicis Groupe from a holding company to a platform and give creative minds the freedom to progress and thrive in this ever-changing industry. 

“Tying the development of Marcel to our one-year industry event hiatus was a controversial decision, but a necessary one. It drew a line in the sand and left no doubt that we are determined to do whatever it takes to reinvent an industry that has struggled to evolve over the past 40 years.”