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Publicis jumps on the programmatic platform bandwagon, buys RUN


What: Publicis Groupe has acquired RUN, a mobile-focused real-time data management and multi-channel programmatic buying platform.
Why it matters: Mobile ad spend is expected to increase from US$8.5 billion in 2013 to US$31 billion in 2017. Media planning and buying conglomerates have been busy either acquiring programmatic specialized companies (see WPP purchase of  Xaxis and its recent investment in AppNexus) or building them from scratch (e.g. OMD’s Accuen).

 6QvweJE1_400x400Publicis Groupe has acquired RUN, a mobile-focused real-time data management and multi-channel programmatic buying platform,  enabling marketers to execute data-driven campaigns and multi-channel programmatic ad buying. Details of the deal were not disclosed.

This acquisition goes in line with Publicis Groupe’s 2018 strategic plan to earn 50% of its revenue from digital – today representing 41.6%- following a a scarce 4% year over year growth revenue , reaching US$2.21 billion in the third quarter of 2014. The Groupe has been investing in technology, data, content, social and programmatic across all channels and devices.

Anticipated the need for clients to embrace programmatic as an irreplaceable component of their digital marketing plans, this acquisition marks the first of its kind for the Groupe. More recently, Publicis Groupe has wrapped a number of important partnerships across programmatic, including with AOL and VivaKi’s programmatic solution, Audience on Demand (AOD), as well as other digital focused companies like ZenithOptimedia, Razorfish,DigitasLBi and Adobe’s Digital Marketing Cloud.

Headquartered in New York City, RUN currently operates and reaches 50 countries and has identified over 800MM unique consumer profiles globally. RUN’s mobile-focused data management platform (DMP) collects consumer data sets captured from multiple sources, including cellular carriers and Internet Service Providers (ISPs), compiling information on location, CRM activities, behavior and demographics. In addition, RUN’s platform also provides actionable insights and analytics that enable both precision targeting and more effective ad spend. RUN’s omni-channel demand-side platform (DSP) powers data-driven media buying at scale; while its activation platform executes cross-device marketing campaigns across multiple formats including display and video.

Following this partnership, RUN will be aligned with Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG) and will be available as a resource to all networks of the Groupe  by Publicis’ ad tech solutions unit Vivaki. However, it will retain its name, management team and structure and operate as a standalone unit .As time spent on mobile devices continues to grow, according to eMarketer, mobile ad spend is expected to increase from US$8.5BN in 2013 to US$31BN in 2017.

“This acquisition will accelerate Publicis Groupe’s digital capabilities in the mobile space. The role of the agency has changed. We are no longer negotiating on traditional currencies. We’re negotiating on data and technologies. RUN provides the opportunity to break down walled gardens of data across all screens and devices to become a real, meaningful differentiator in how we service current clients and beyond,”said Laura Desmond, Global CEO of Starcom MediaVest Group.


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