Publicis Groupe [Euronext Paris FR0000130577, CAC 40] announced today the acquisition of a majority stake in Espalhe, one of Brazil’s leading digital and social media marketing agencies. Founded in 2003, Espalhe, which means ‘spread’ in Portuguese, employs more than 90 staff across its offices in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
Espalhe is a recognized leader and innovator in the Brazilian market as a result of their unique capabilities in integrating digital, social, PR, events and other disciplines to deliver creative campaigns that engage fans and deliver business results. The agency has seen double-digit organic growth in each of the past five years and has continued to expand its scope of services and strengthen its proprietary campaign management tools. Its social media engagement monitoring and analysis tool, IndexSocial (www.indexsocial.com.br), is the leading source of insights into how brands are performing in Brazil’s social media landscape and is frequently cited by marketing and business media. Key agency clients include both prominent Brazilian brands such as the Guaraná Antarctica
and Ambev Corporate, as well as international brands including Fiat/Chrysler, Halls, Activia and adidas.
The agency’s creative campaigns have been recognized in Brazil, across Latin America and globally, including recognition in Advertising Age in 2011 for one of the top 10 “Most killer pieces of creative” Halls Green Grape Campaign and again in 2012 as one of the top 50 most creative organizations in the world and the only recognized company from Brazil. Espalhe has quickly become one of the hottest agencies to work for in Brazil and has one of the largest agency fan pages on Facebook in the country with almost 50,000 fans.
The agency will be renamed to Espalhe MSLGROUP and join MSLGROUP, Publicis Groupe’s strategic communications and engagement network. Espalhe MSLGROUP will retain its current management team made up of Gustavo Fortes, Cleber Martins, Roberta Paixão and Patrícia Albuquerque. Gustavo Fortes, Managing Director, Espalhe MSLGROUP, will report to Paulo Andreoli, Chairman MSLGROUP Latin America, and Fortes, Martins and Paixão will all join the MSLGROUP Brazil Management Board. MSLGROUP’s expanded team in Brazil now includes more than 150 consultants across Espalhe MSLGROUP and Andreoli MSLGROUP, a strategic communications agency founded in 1993 by Paulo Andreoli. The operations of each agency remain independent and distinct business units, but will work collaboratively in certain areas including business strategy, tools, training and other MSLGROUP global initiatives.
Publicis Groupe is present in Brazil with all of its agency brands and has one of the largest operations in this fast-growing market. This includes more than 1,800 staff across 17 agencies. Major clients of Publicis Groupe include Procter & Gamble, General Motors, AB InBev, Bradesco, Petrobras, and Carrefour.
Olivier Fleurot, Global Chief Executive Officer, MSLGROUP, “Over the last three years, MSLGROUP has grown to be the #1 agency network in Europe, Greater China and India, and today marks an important step in our network’s development in Brazil and in Latin America. The Espalhe MSLGROUP team will have the full support of MSLGROUP’s global network and their proven approach to social audience engagement will be essential in today’s changing communications landscape.”
Paulo Andreoli, Chairman MSLGROUP Latin America, “The team at Espalhe MSLGROUP and their creative approach represents the future of brand marketing. From contributing their unique perspective to MSLGROUP’s capability development globally, to supporting clients in Brazil and Latin America, there exists great potential to work together in the coming months and years.”
Founders of Espalhe, Gustavo Fortes, Cleber Martins, and Roberta Paixão, added “We strongly believe that being part of MSLGROUP and Publicis Groupe is the next step towards achieving our agency’s mission, which is to bring disruptive innovation in communications that benefits clients here in Brazil and around the world. The importance of earned media, content and creative storytelling is part of our DNA since our founding in 2003 and is shared by MSLGROUP.”