Publicis Groupe today announced the acquisition of 100% of Arachnid, a Malaysian digital agency. The agency will be rebranded Saatchi & Saatchi Arachnid, and becomes part of the Saatchi & Saatchi network in the Asia-Pacific region. Founder and CEO Chin Weng Keong will continue to lead the business as Saatchi & Saatchi Arachnid, and will now report to Chris Foster, Chairman & CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi Asia Pacific.
Publicis Groupe now counts more than 600 full-time employees in Malaysia through its networks Leo Burnett, Publicis Worldwide, Saatchi & Saatchi and VivaKi. At the end of June 2012, Publicis Groupe employed nearly 13,000 people across the Asia-Pacific region.
Arachnid was established in Kuala Lumpur in 1996, and now employs a team of more than sixty digital communications specialist. With firm roots in digital and interactive marketing, its service offering has evolved to cover all forms of interaction-oriented touch-points. The agency’s portfolio of blue-chip multinational clients includes Dutch Lady (dairy), Lexus, MINI, Petronas (oil and gas), Reckitt Benckiser and Toyota, and the agency serves over 25 markets across North America, South America, Western & Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. Since it was founded, Arachnid has won more than 160 local and international awards for its creativity, strategy and marketing effectiveness. It has been ranked three times on the Deloitte Asia Pacific Fast 500.
Digital and fast-growing markets make up the two pillars of Publicis Groupe’s worldwide growth strategy, with Arachnid delivering on both. According to the most recent ZenithOptimedia forecasts (October 2012), Malaysia’s GDP is expected to grow between 4 and 5% and adspend is projected to grow by 5% in 2012. Total advertising expenditure in Malaysia in the year up to July 2012 increased by 2% compared to the same period in 2011. In the Asia-Pacific region as a whole, ad expenditure grew by as much as 5.9% in 2011, with every medium registering growth. Internet-related advertising is forecast for particularly strong growth; worldwide it is forecasted to grow on average by 16% a year between 2012 and 2014.