05 June 2000

Despite its recent flirtation with Young & Rubican – only to be jilted in favor of WPP – Paris-based agency network Publicis is still foraging for a US deal.

According to chief executive Maurice Levy, 57, the French company was already engaged in talks with a number of smaller firms when the Y&R opportunity loomed. These were put on hold during the Y&R discussions but have now resumed. Levy says they could lead to a deal as early as this summer, "if not, by the end of the year". His lips are sealed, however, as to identities and how much might be on the table.

“The US is undoubtedly one of our main targets. Having a strong presence there is not a choice, it's a must," Levy added. Any resultant second network is “likely to be one that is very different from us".

News source: Wall Street Journal