In order to put this technology “at the heart” of its activities and get “the most out of it” for its clients, the large French group specializing in advertising Publicis announced, Thursday, January 24, that it would invest 300 million euros over three years for its artificial intelligence (AI) strategy.

For the year 2024 alone, Publics plans an investment of 100 million euros, “of which 50% dedicated to the training and recruitment of teams, and 50% to technology, [through] the purchase of licenses, computer software and cloud infrastructures [dematerialized computing],” it is explained in a press release.

This investment this year will be financed “entirely” by “internal savings”. It “will therefore have no impact on the group’s operating margin in 2024” but will “contribute slightly to that of 2025,” added the group.

AI “at the heart” of the company’s activities since 2018

Champion of digital transformation with its own platform for connecting its employees called Marcel, its data processing platform Epsilon and its technological consulting activity Sapient, the French multinational claims to have put AI “ at the heart” of its organization “since 2018”, well before the emergence of ChatGPT, symbol of the generative AI programs which have multiplied since the end of 2022.

“Since we started very early, we became very serious about the subject very early on,” Arthur Sadoun, chairman of the board of Publicis, insisted during a telephone press conference, recalling that his group had invested “8 billion euros” over the past eight years in the acquisitions of Epsilon and Sapient.

“This is what gives us this head start today”, because “AI, in a company that is not adapted, it is of no use”, he added, citing as “competitive advantages” of its group, in the face of competition, the ownership of its “large-scale” data or even the presence of 45,000 engineers and data analysts within it.

Concretely, all of the group’s “proprietary” data will be grouped under a single entity called “CoreAI”, whose capabilities will be “progressively” deployed “during the first half of 2024”, with the presentation of its first functionalities in May. , during the VivaTech Show in Paris.

Before publishing all of its results on February 8, Publicis announced that its organic growth for the year 2023 had been 6.3%, a performance “above the target range of 5.5% at 6%, which was revised upwards in October,” he said.