Publicis Acquires Octopus Group To Increase B2B Capabilities


LONDON – Publicis Groupe UK has acquired Octopus Group, a specialist B2B marketing agency, for an undisclosed sum to enhance its B2B skills.

The agency’s leadership remains the same, with Jon Lonsdale as CEO and Pete Hendrick as CEO. The 60-strong agency will move to the Publicis campus in London as soon as it is possible to return to offices.

In recent years, Octopus has developed from a PR specialist for technology to a digital and creative agency in the B2B sector. His clients include Siemens, Adobe, Logitech, Smartsheet and ACI Worldwide. There are no customer conflicts as a result of the business.

Lonsdale told PRovoke, “B2B is doing well and this is a real opportunity to enhance our move to a broader B2B and integrated agency and accelerate business and grow geographically and with Publicis’ resources, technology and data.”

The agency joins Publicis’ creative practice alongside Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett and Digitas, rather than the influence practice which includes MSL, which is headed in the UK by Chris McCafferty.

Lonsdale said: “After all the work we have done in recent years, it is particularly gratifying that our digital and creative work is being recognized in the B2B context. The time is right and Publicis is a great fit. Everyone is proud to have reached this milestone and is looking forward to the next few years. It is the beginning of a new chapter. “

He added, “We spoke to Chris and we will be working with MSL and working on a variety of work. However, it’s great that Publicis realized that creative communication is also an important part of their B2B offering. “

In the past 12 months, Octopus has increased sales in the single-digit range from 2019 and increased the average project size by 30% as customers expand their tasks to include more integrated work across all channels.

Magnus Djaba, CEO of Creative Practice said: “Due to the pandemic, the line between B2B and B2C is blurring, and B2C brands are increasingly taking a B2B2C approach. Brands are also facing a time of tremendous technological change and disruption, and one of the things that attracted us to Octopus Group is their technological background. We need to understand all of the challenges our customers face, from marketing to sales and commerce to product innovation, in order to deliver the right creativity at every point of their sales funnel. “

Annette King, CEO of Publicis Groupe UK, said: “We have been looking for the right B2B partner for some time to improve our skills in this area. Octopus has a proven track record of solving customer challenges in ways that transform categories. Joining Publicis Groupe UK as part of our Power of One model is a great opportunity for clients and agencies to grow. “