Publicis Groupe enters Palestinian market

Publicis Groupe has become the first major communications network to enter the Palestinian market.

The group has purchased 20 per cent of Ramallah-based agency Zoom Advertising, with Publicis given the option to increase its stake in the future.

The deal was signed yesterday by Publicis Groupe chief executive Maurice Lévy, with Zoom becoming Publicis Zoom. The agency has 23 staff and clients such as the Bank of Palestine, Coca-Cola, Peugeot, the Palestinian Exchange and the new Palestinian-planned city of Rawabi. Lévy expressed hope that the move would play its part in contributing to “durable peace” and followed the group’s earlier announcement that it had boosted its presence in Israel with the acquisition of BBR.

Speaking of the Palestinian investment, Lévy said: “Today’s transaction is important on several levels. One key element, of course, is Publicis’ desire to serve our clients wherever they work. But the impact of this operation extends much further than that. It comes immediately after our announcement of the acquisition of BBR in Israel – symbolically, this speaks to every man’s dream of seeing peace in the Middle East and between the Palestinian and Israeli peoples.

“Moreover, it is also a call to French and international companies to set up in the region and to contribute to creating the economic development, without which there can be no durable peace.”

Also present at the ceremony in Palestine were Jean-Yves Naouri, chief operating officer at Publicis Groupe and executive chairman of Publicis Worldwide, and Loris Nold, a member of the executive committee of Publicis Worldwide.