Mark Ritson Labels Publicis Groupe’s New ‘Marcel’ Platform “A Load Of Wank”

Mark Ritson Labels Publicis Groupe’s New ‘Marcel’ Platform “A Load Of Wank”
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Industry maverick Mark Ritson has issued a harsh dressing-down of Publicis Groupe’s new AI platform, and a stern warning to the company about its future.

A tweet by Ritson came to B&T’s attention last night, in which he described Marcel as “a load of wank” and said Publicis should be “very careful about looking foolish in the future”.

The tweet was to promote his latest industry rant on UK trade publication Marketing Week, entitled “Publicis has done nothing but prove agile structures are a load of BS”.

“A year on from Arthur Sadoun’s explosive start as CEO of Publicis Groupe, it is abundantly clear that most, if not all, of his extravagant claims, from the disappointment of Marcel to the about-turn on Cannes, are nothing more than the usual agency posturing,” Ritson vented.

“While there was much talk about the new ‘agile’ structure of Publicis, the reality is the same old functional model remains in place. I grow increasingly suspicious of any marketer who trumpets agility as a goal worthy of their attention.

“It’s become a cliché of the highest order to drop agility into pretty much everything. I really can’t see the attraction.”

Ritson argued that brands and marketers need discipline, strategy and focus, and not “a bunch of mercurial horseshit about being agile”.

“Most marketers need less agility, not more. They need to stick to the fucking plan. Or, in most cases, actually spend time building a plan to stick to,” he wrote.

“The fact that Publicis was trying to introduce more agility into the rotating roller disco of agency operations speaks volumes about the strategic merit of Sadoun’s new direction and the practicality of his bold approach.”

The marketing guru said that while Publicis had promised that Marcel would revolutionise work, break down the barriers to creativity and solve the human and cultural shift, it has turned out to be “hugely underwhelming” and “looks like a bad version of LinkedIn”.

“I am no expert in technology or advanced programming, but I can smell a donkey from three hundred yards,” Ritson wrote.

He finished his blog by saying that there is only one thing Publicis has actually achieved so far in 2018: “Make it absolutely clear there is a strategic vacuum operating at the very top of the organisation.”

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