Publicis and Carrefour join forces in digital advertising

Posted Nov 8, 2022, 9:32 AMUpdated Nov 8, 2022, 5:05 PM

Unity is strength. This Tuesday, Carrefour and Publicis announced that they were going to launch, in 2023, a joint venture intended to jointly deploy their offers and assets in the “retail media” – i.e. the monetization of advertising space on the sites of e-merchants as well as than their customer data. This segment of the advertising market is accelerating very strongly and will cross the symbolic barrier of 100 billion dollars in revenue worldwide this year.

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

For its part, Publicis has positioned itself on the technological side by acquiring in particular the start-up CitrusAd, for a little over 100 million dollars in the summer of 2021. This notably offers a tool allowing advertisers to buy themselves, advertising space and keywords within distributors’ merchant ecosystems; major brands also have the ability to use customer purchasing behavior data to more effectively target users on third-party sites.

“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 with the French adtech Criteo in particular, whose contract runs until the end of 2023.

“Over the past few months, we have been learning and getting to grips with the potential of “retail media” since we already work with more than 300 brands. With this joint venture, the idea is to move up a gear, explains Elodie Perthuisot, executive director of e-commerce, data and digital transformation at Carrefour. The technological aspect will be concentrated and unified in this alliance. We are also going to take charge of the direct marketing of our “retail media” offers, which will allow us to get closer to our customers”.

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

Amazon’s dominance

The alliance of the two heavyweights is also intended to be non-exclusive and broader since it aims to “rally many distributors to the platform. More generally, any actor who has a direct relationship with consumers and “data first party”, will be able, by joining the platform, 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 direct competitors of Carrefour will see an interest in taking the plunge.

“Retail media is a market where scale effects are major and where one and one make three. The objective will be to work with as many groups as possible, notes Thibault Hennion, director of international operations at Epsilon (Publicis’ data offer) which also pilots CitrusAd. In continental Europe, the industry is now very fragmented, which benefits Amazon.” On the Old Continent, the Seattle group indeed claims a market share of nearly 85%, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau. In the first nine months of the year, Amazon generated global revenue of $26.2 billion through this activity.

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