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State of the Screens

Publicis And Epsilon: An Acquisition Of Legacies?

By April 25, 2019No Comments

Big news: Publicis is buying Epsilon for $4.4B to bolster its first-party data (audience targeting) capabilities. This is the largest acquisition ever for Publicis since being founded in 1926.

Why this matters: The future of advertising is audience targeted and holding companies such as Publicis are playing catch up through acquisitions.

Recent purchases of data firms by holding companies:
Merkle → Dentsu (2016 — $1.5B)
2) Acxiom Marketing Solutions → IPG (2018 — $2.3B)
3) Epsilon → Publicis (2019 — $4.4B)

What others are saying: Maja Milicevic @ Sparrow Advisers argues that little is unique from this acquisition because the brands own their first-party data as opposed to Epsilon.

Quote from Jay Stocki — COO @ Signal:
“They had to do this. They were the last big holding company that didn’t have a strong data play.”

Key details for Epsilon:
$2.2B revenue in 2018
2) 8K employees
3) 70 offices
4) 71B
personalized emails sent in 2018
5) 250M U.S. adults in database
6) 7K different attributes

More #1: The Rundown: Agencies get their hands dirty with data ownership

More #2: What First-Party Data Does Epsilon Actually Have?

More #3: Q&A: Publicis Groupe CEO Arthur Sadoun on Epsilon acquisition

Michael Beach

Michael Beach is the Chief Executive Officer of Cross Screen Media, a media analytics and software company that enables marketers to plan, activate, and measure CTV and linear TV at the local level. Michael is also the founder and editor of State of the Screens, a weekly newsletter focused on video advertising that is a must-read for thought leaders in the advertising industry. He has appeared in such publications as PBS Frontline, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Axios, CNBC and Bloomberg, and on NPR’s Planet Money podcast.