Publicis Media wraps Blue 449 into Spark Foundry as global brand

• Spark Foundry’s current CEO Sue Squillace will lead the merged brands in Australia

Publicis Media has consolidated two of its global networks – Blue 449 and Spark Foundry – to create one global proposition.

For the local market Spark Foundry’s current CEO Sue Squillace will lead the merged brands in Australia.

Publicis has released these details about the consolidation:

With this move the new network deepens its presence in Australia, Canada, China, Germany, India, Italy, MENA, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Singapore and Spain, as well as other markets around the world, accelerated through realigning Blue 449 talent and clients to the Spark Foundry brand.

Due to the unique nature of the France, US and UK markets, both Spark Foundry and the Blue 449 brands will be retained and co-operate closely in these markets, with Blue 449 predominantly servicing domestic clients and Spark Foundry focusing on global clients.

“As a brand-led organisation, we are committed to our strong agency brands as transformation partners for clients,” says Steve King, CEO, Publicis Media. “Guided by this commitment, we are further scaling Spark Foundry as a global network.”

Spark Foundry’s global evolution through this strategic alliance, builds on notable momentum over the past year, including substantial new business wins such as Marriott and Lenovo (global), Mondelez (multi-market), Macy’s, Audible, and Southwest Airlines in the US, Savola in UAE, and Campbell Arnott’s in Australia.

In Australia, John Preston (pictured), chairman of Publicis Media ANZ, previously CEO of Blue 449 (formerly Match Media) has announced that leading the new Australian entity will be Spark Foundry’s current CEO Sue Squillace (pictured) supported by Duncan Parfitt as COO, who moves from his role as MD of Blue 449, and Blue 449’s CFO Jeff Ewing completing the executive leadership team.

Preston will work closely with the executive leadership team to ensure a smooth integration of the businesses. He said: “Here in Australia we are bringing together two successful businesses, both with enviable culture scores. The beauty is that their DNA of being born a start-up; one an independent, the other a multinational start-up, are strongly aligned.

“This is a very exciting step change for the team at Spark Foundry and provides the team at Blue 449 with a truly global family to work with.”

Sue Squillace, CEO, Spark Foundry Australia added: “I am really excited to have the opportunity to lead this newly formed strategic alignment. This evolution of Spark Foundry will deliver our people and clients a brand with greater scale, greater market impact and a greater connected global network.”

The new Spark Foundry Australia will have 185 people working across its three existing offices in Sydney and Melbourne; and in Sydney will come together in one location with Publicis Groupe’s move to Pyrmont in early 2020.

Meanwhile, Phil Georgiadis, global chairman of Blue 449 and Publicis Media UK, has decided to leave the company, having co-founded Blue 449 (formerly Walker Media) in the UK in 1998.

“Now is the right time for me to move on, I have been fully involved and supportive of the new network strategy and I am obviously delighted that Blue 449 will retain its distinctive position in the UK market. This is testament to the whole team under the strong leadership of Simon and in truth they are doing a brilliant job without me,” says Georgiadis. “More recently I have enjoyed my role as Chairman of Publicis Media UK. Having been heavily involved in the decision to move to Television Centre and in the fit out itself I can see it will be a catalyst for even more transformative behaviours and I wish Steve, Sue and everyone based there every success in the future.”

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