World number five advertising group, Paris-headquartered Publicis, will from 2001 implement the phased integration of advertising and marketing services predicted earlier this year by chairman Maurice Lévy.

Seen by Lévy as essential to exploit growth in world marketing communications, the melding of disciplines and skills will be overseen by Jean-Yves Naouri, currently manager of Publicis Consultants and shortly to become head of the group’s flagship agency Publicis Conseil.

In an interview with Tuesday's Le Figaro, Levy said the integrated service will offer clients a new contract with a single multi-discipline team running their business across the board, rather than dealing separately with a raft of different Publicis's units as at present.

"The dichotomy between strictly media advertising and all other methods like packaging, direct marketing or sponsoring,” said Lévy, “is an artifical separation ... we need to integrate all these elements upstream."

Also on Publicis’ agenda is growth in niche markets and the group plans "a very aggressive strategy" in the advertising space buying field.

News source: CampaignLive (UK)