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Publicis starts test phase of "Marcel" internal network aimed at performance boost

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PARIS (Reuters) – Advertising group Publicis <PUBP.PA> will unveil its internal collaborative network “Marcel” on Thursday and hopes to have 90 percent of its staff using it by 2020, in a move designed to improve the interaction between Publicis’ various agencies.

The Paris-based company, which partnered with Microsoft <MSFT.O> to develop the platform, aims to foster greater collaboration between its myriad network of agencies worldwide through using this tool.

Chief Executive Arthur Sadoun stunned the industry last year by announcing Publicis would skip all awards events and trade shows, including the Cannes Lions event — the world’s biggest advertising industry conference — to develop the network.

“Marcel” will provide a daily digest to all employees who opt in, Publicis said in a statement. These digests will include suggestions to participate in pitches and works in progress.

The launch will be in January 2019 and employees will join on a voluntary basis, added Publicis, which is the world’s third-biggest advertising group and whose rivals include WPP <WPP.L> and Omnicom <OMC.N>.

Publicis did not say how much the initiative had cost and declined to provide an estimate of the productivity gains it might be seeking to achieve with this tool.

(Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)

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