PARIS: Publicis Worldwide, the global communications group, has launched a new division which will focus on producing "branded entertainment solutions" for advertisers on platforms ranging from social networks to mobile phones.
Veronis Suhler Stevenson, the private equity firm, has previously predicted that "alternative marketing services", a category which includes branded entertainment, will see revenues grow by 12.6% each year from 2008 to 2013 in the US.
Publicis estimates this sector was worth a total of $24.97 billion (€16.9bn; £15.7bn) in America alone last year, up by 12% on an annual basis, making the country a key market for its new venture, PublicisEntertainment.
As well as dealing with all aspects of the production process from commissioning to transmission, Publicis Entertainment's remit will cover digital and web TV, games, mobile, social networks and films.
Its activity will further extend to driving revenues through exploiting intellectual property, selling related advertising and sponsorship, and securing distribution and syndication deals.
The network will be headquartered in London, and is expected to be rolled out across a number of other major markets in the near future.
Richard Pinder, coo of Publicis Worldwide, said "the relationship between advertising and television production is changing fast: it is now a relationship of equals."
Pinder also argued the company has been "getting more and more interest from clients" in this area, making this "the right business at the right time."
"The three-minute program is slowly joining the 30-second spot as an industry benchmark," he added.
Publicis Entertainment will be led by Marcus Vinton, formerly executive creative director of Ogilvy London, who suggested this channel offers a unique opportunity for marketers.
"Media barter deals and sponsorship will of course continue to help brands shepherd and associate themselves 'around' great television, but by working together we now have the opportunity to communicate directly 'through' great television," he said.
According to a statement, Publicis Entertainment is already working "on a number of major branded content projects with Publicis Worldwide clients", and with production companies including RDF, All3Media, Fremantle and Endemol.
Data sourced from Publicis Worldwide/AdAge; additional content by WARC staff