Publicis Groupe has announced plans to merge its pan-European FCA! BMZ network with Publicis Conseil, Paris, in a move to create what president Maurice Levy calls a “holistic communications service” [or what non-sophists have long referred to as “integrated” or “through-the-line” marketing].

The melding, currently under study, would merge the flagship Paris agency’s mainstream advertising expertise with FCA’s below-the-line skills. If the green light is given, FCA! will be absorbed into Publicis Conseil along with some ninety staff and a gross income of around $10 million.

The plan, said to be phase one in a wider Publicis 2010 strategic scheme for possible global rollout, represents an acceleration in FCA’s elimination, under way since Publicis acquired Saatchi & Saatchi last year in a friendly takeover. Since then, much of FCA! has been folded into Saatchi’s various European operations.

This, however, was not possible in France because of client conflict – FCA’s Henkel business versus Saatchi’s P&G – thus triggering the current merger plan.

News source: AdAge Global