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Publicis and Carrefour Want to Grow Europe’s Retail Media Market with New Joint Venture

Tim Cross 08 November, 2022 

Agency holding company Publicis Groupe and supermarket chain Carrefour are launching a new retail media joint venture covering Europe and Latin America, the two announced today. The joint venture will be held 51 percent by Carrefour and 49 percent by Publicis, and is expected to begin operating in the first half of next year.

Publicis and Carrefour say that through the joint venture, they will create “a comprehensive media player that addresses the entire retail media value chain” across Continental Europe, Brazil, and Argentina. The new business will work on technology which helps retailers create ad inventory and facilitates data sharing. It will also create an interface through which advertisers can access these media and data solutions at scale.

The ultimate aim looks to be to build up, and provide access to, a network of retail media partners, making it easy for advertisers to buy and measure across multiple retailers.

To do this, the joint venture will leverage the two companies’ existing retail media assets: Carrefour’s Carrefour Links, and Publicis Groupe’s CitrusAd. Carrefour Links was launched last year to power Carrefour’s own retail media efforts. Links brings together Carrefour’s various customer data assets and opens it up to brands for targeting, measurement, and personalisation. Meanwhile CitrusAd, which was acquired by Publicis and folded into Epsilon last year, is an ecommerce ad serving platform which helps advertisers target and optimise their campaigns.

A rising tide…

Retail media is already a major focus for both Carrefour and Publicis. In Publicis’ most recent quarterly earnings, CEO Arthur Sardoun described commerce as a major opportunity for his company. “Thanks to data and technology, we know that today every brand experience, from a text to a tweet, from a TikTok video to television sports, from store visits to transactions in the metaverse, everything has the potential to become a commerce experience,” said Sardoun.

But the retail media market isn’t yet as advanced in Europe and Latin America as it is in the US. The two businesses will hope that by encouraging more retailers to develop retail media offerings, they will be able to grow the size of the overall marketing, benefiting their own respective retail media offerings.

And of course if the joint venture grows the market as much as Publicis and Carrefour hope it will, it would give both of them a lot of power to shape the market in their favour. As VideoWeek reported last week, Publicis is by no means the only agency holding group betting heavily on retail media, with WPP, Omnicom, and IPG all name checking commerce as a strategic priority in their recent financial statements. With this joint venture, Publicis will hope to establish itself as the go-to agency group for retail media in Europe and Latin America.

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About the Author:

Tim Cross is Assistant Editor at VideoWeek.
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