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«By buying Epsilon, Publicis is taking part in the adventure of the third age of advertising»

With this acquisition of more than $ 4 billion, the group offers the specialist in the analysis of consumer behavior data. With the extension of the Internet, it is now a question of no longer talking to the masses, but directly to the individual, analyzes Philippe Escande, economic editorialist at the "World".

Posted today at 10:36 Time to Reading 1 min.

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Losses & profits. By announcing this Sunday, April 14, the acquisition of the American specialist in the analysis of consumer behavior data, Epsilon, for more than 4 billion dollars (3.5 billion euros), the French Publicis takes part in the adventure the third age of advertising.

Read also Publicis buys American Epsilon for $ 4.4 billion

In his great novel Lost IllusionsBalzac (1799-1850) tells the story of the birth of newspapers … and of advertising that made ends meet (already) difficult. The economic model was rather rustic. The Opera, the theater, bought a few hundred subscriptions to the magazine, in exchange for a critique of the play. Discussed ethically, this process allowed the emergence of a press reserved for a Parisian elite, that of mansions, social evenings and cabs in the Bois de Boulogne.

Short-cicuités by Google and Facebook

The democratization of knowledge and consumption of the XXe century gave birth to a more sophisticated world of advertisements and posters, then radio and TV spots. To manage this mass communication, the media has become professional and advertising too. Increasingly powerful agencies, designing global campaigns and playing on the size effect to negotiate prices with broadcasters. Publicis, born in 1927, was one of the kings of this new world that flourished after the Second World War. The apotheosis should have been the merger between Publicis and its main American competitor Omnicom, in 2013.

Data on consumer identity and behavior has become paramount

Marriage happily missed. Because at the same time ended this golden age with the infinite extension of the domain of Internet. It was not a transfer of newspaper ads to websites but a paradigm shift. We no longer talked to the mass to sell him a car, but to the individual. Data on consumer identity and behavior has become paramount.

Downstream from their business, the major networks were short-circuited by Google and Facebook who spoke directly to customers, and upstream by leading computer scientists championing the algorithm, such as Accenture, the world's largest IT service company. The struggle intensifies and the heroes change their faces.

Read also Advertising, the main source of funding for disinformation sites

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