"While small caps like MDC Partners and Sapient have been touting their commerce work for some time and larger agencies have been increasing focus in this area, too, this is the first formal commerce initiative announced by one of the large holding companies.
It reminds us of the Vivaki announcement in 2007, when Publicis kick-started the then-emerging conversations around programmatic ad buying at the HoldCos. We'd argue that the market opportunity for commerce services is larger than $600 million, but the odds that PUB captures half is low; rather, we'd expect other holding companies to pursue it, as well as numerous business services providers of different stripes. While the distinction between services provider and technology platform is important, other companies focused on the convergence of digital commerce and marketing services include Alliance Data Systems, eBay's GSI Commerce, and MasterCard, among many others."
-BMO Analyst Dan Salmon, in a research note on Publicis's push into commerce via a partnership with IBM's Smarter Commerce Initiative.
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