Publicis restructuring strengthens BEE

PARIS-listed communication and advertising company Publicis Groupe says it has finalised the restructuring of its South African-owned agencies.

This move will see the largest empowerment in the sector in the last five years, as the agencies will now be grouped under one umbrella entity called Multi Media Services.

The agencies include Leo Burnet South Africa, Publicis South Africa, MS&L Group South Africa, Starcom MediaVest Grou and Zenith Optimedia.

This will swell the BEE ownership to more than the value of the separated entities.

"Although all key agency functions are being positively affected by the efforts so far, it still remains a challenge to correct the imbalance of black management and involvement within agencies," MMS chairperson Groovin Nchabeleng said.

"What we have seen to date in the marketing sector is a mindset of empowerment focussed on a transaction based model.

"Simply put, efforts by agencies and their international principles to comply with score cards has resulted in a great disconnection between the letter of the law and the spirit of the law," Nchabeleng said.

"As an industry we have reached the time where our measurement of success needs to move away from percentage achievement towards a situation where we are making a visible difference in areas such as skills transfer, professional development and creative excellence," Nchabeleng said.

But MMS refused to put monetary value to the empowerment restructuring programme.