Publicis and Carrefour join forces on digital advertising

Written November 8, 2022, 9:32 amUpdated November 8, 2022 at 17.05

Togetherness is strength. This Tuesday, Carrefour and Publicis announced that in 2023 they would launch a joint venture intended to jointly distribute their offers and assets in the “retail media” – ie. which than their customer data. This segment of the advertising market is accelerating very strongly and this year will cross the symbolic barrier of 100 billion dollars in revenue worldwide.

A year ago, Carrefour – which is unveiling its new strategic plan on Tuesday – announced its intention to become “the European leader in retail media” with its own Carrefour Links offering. Like other major retailers, the French group has control over “first-party data” [NDLR : les données primaires propriétaires récoltées directement par l’éditeur d’un site]in relation to the buying behavior of millions of consumers, the asset that makes all the difference and value of “retail media”.

Publicis, for its part, has positioned itself on the technology side by acquiring, in particular, the start-up CitrusAd for just over $100 million in the summer of 2021. In particular, this offers a tool that allows advertisers to buy themselves, ad space and keywords within distributors’ merchant ecosystems; major brands also have the ability to use customer data on purchasing behavior to more effectively target users on third-party websites.

“We have done our learning”

As part of this future alliance, the French advertising giant will provide technological tools to Carrefour, which is currently working in particular with the French adtech Criteo, whose contract runs until the end of 2023.

“Over the last few months we have learned and mastered the potential of ‘retail media’ as we already work with more than 300 brands. With this joint venture, the idea is to shift a gear”, explains Elodie Perthuisot, CEO of e -trade, data and digital transformation at Carrefour. The technological aspect will be concentrated and brought together in this alliance. We will also be responsible for the direct marketing of our “retail media” offer, which will allow us to get closer our customers”.

In more detail, the joint venture will be 51% owned by Carrefour and 49% by Publicis Groupe. Geographically, the offer will be implemented in Continental Europe as well as in Brazil and Argentina, areas where Carrefour has a direct presence in many countries.

Amazon’s dominance

The alliance between the two heavyweights is also intended to be non-exclusive and broader, as it aims to “bring together many distributors to the platform. More broadly, any player that has a direct relationship with consumers and ‘data first party’ will by joining the platform be able to monetize their assets and help brands to be more effective in their marketing strategy”, specify the two groups. . However, it remains to be seen whether Carrefour’s direct competitors will see an interest in taking the leap.

“Retail media is a market where scale effects are large and where one and one become three. The goal will be to work with as many groups as possible, notes Thibault Hennion, director of international operations at Epsilon (Publicis’ data offering), which is also piloting CitrusAd. On the European continent, the industry is now very fragmented, which benefits Amazon.” On the old continent, the Seattle group actually claims a market share of almost 85%, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau. In the first nine months of the year, Amazon generated global revenue of 26.2 billions of dollars through this activity.

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