This piece was first published in The Times of Israel.
With its purchase on June 18 of 20% of Ramallah-basedZoom Advertising, Publicis Groupe claims to be the first listed international holding group to enter the Palestinian market. Publicis’ French-Jewish chief executive Maurice Lévy sees the acquisition—especially with Publicis’ concurrent buying of a major Israeli communications group— as an investment toward peace in the Middle East.
The Palestinian advertising company, which has 23 clients and also has an office in Gaza, will now be called Publicis Zoom. Among its clients are the Bank of Palestine, Coca-Cola, Peugeot, the Palestinian Securities Exchange, and the new Palestinian-planned city of Rawabi.
The agreement, signed by Lévy at a ceremony in the West Bank, includes an option for the holding company to acquire a larger stake in Zoom in future.
Publicis announced the same day from its Paris headquarters that it had acquired BBR Group, the Israeli advertising and communications network. The transaction followed fifteen years of collaboration between Publicis and many of BBR’s affiliate agencies. BBR’s founder and chairman Yoram Baumann has been appointed the Publicis Groupe chairman for Israel.
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© 2012 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.