Posts Categorized: Our People

How Two Publicis Staffers Roared at the Women’s March on Washington

On January 21, thousands gathered for the Women’s March on Washington. What began as a grassroots event, born from a simple post-election Facebook post, grew to more than 600 events and millions of demonstrators globally.

That same Saturday, Publicis New York filled two buses with impassioned colleagues and drove to Washington to show the world how loud #PublicisRoars. Among them were Liza Oestreich, Technology Operations Manager and and Madhu Malhan, VP, Director of Creative Branding, two of the trip’s organizers.

Now in the wake of this historic event, we caught up with Liza and Madhu to learn more about their experiences that day and talk with them about why standing up and speaking out matters.

What was the Women’s March like for you personally?

Liza Oestreich: The March was a fabulous experience.  It reminded me that there are millions of people globally who feel similarly about the direction that the country is heading. Together, we were all willing to stand up and say that this direction is not OK, and that we’re going to do something about it.

Madhu Malhan: Overwhelming. During the bus ride to D.C., I found myself getting emotional just seeing the number of buses and vans heading in the same direction. I tend to get weepy at any demonstration of human spirit or movement—I cry at the Marathon, I cry when I vote—so this was not unusual.

Is this your first time marching or attending an event like this? What was your first experience as an activist? 

LO: I went to Mount Holyoke College (one of the Seven Sisters—you can also thank us for the modern A-F grading system), which is an all-women’s institution. Activism is ingrained in the culture of the school, especially regarding women’s rights. So I’m a firm believer in the value of protesting to make your voice heard. My first protest was with Take Back the Night, an organization that combats sexual, relationship and domestic violence. The event was at UMass Amherst, which at the time was known for wild Friday night parties on their, now demolished, Frat Row.

MM: I’ve participated in smaller demonstrations in the past, but nothing like this. The closest to a crowd that size that I’ve been in was at Jon Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity in 2010.

What lit the fire for you to be heard and join the movement? 

LO: I had wanted to go down to D.C. to join the March, but was hesitant to go alone. When I learned that Publicis was considering taking a couple buses down, I jumped at the opportunity to help organize and make sure that everyone going had a safe and enjoyable experience. This was the first protest for many of the participants and, understandably, there was some anxiety. I was glad to help organize.

MM: Like many others, I was shocked and appalled at the result of the election. I spent a lot of time on social media that night and came upon Teresa Shook’s invitation for a women’s march in Washington to protest. Having gone to the Rally to Restore Sanity with friends, I immediately decided to organize a bus, split the cost with friends and join the march. When I mentioned it at Publicis, the response was overwhelming. Within a half hour I had about two-thirds of the bus filled. Someone said, “Since there are so many of us, maybe Publicis would pay for a bus so I decided to approach our New York CEO, Carla. Honestly, I was blown away at how quickly she said yes. In the end we had two buses, carrying 100 people toward what was a truly epic demonstration of solidarity.

What was your favorite memory from the day? What will stay with you the most? 

LO: More than the sheer volume of people, it was the camaraderie that struck and moved me. People of all colors, nationalities, socio-economic classes, genders, sexual identities and ages came together on a single day with a united cause. That’s powerful.

MM: The creativity of the signs made me smile. The chants filled me with hope. The size of the crowd and the feeling of camaraderie were unbelievable. I was amazed at how congenial everyone was.

For example, there was a medical emergency near us at one point with no STET around. We were packed like sardines and the people close to the woman started pointing in the direction of the emergency and chanting “medic.” Gradually, the chant spread so that even people half a block away were pointing toward the emergency and chanting. Pretty soon there was an ambulance parting the crowd and the woman was taken away.

What advice would you offer someone who was on the fence about being involved or making their voice heard? 

LO: Speaking up can be scary, but if you don’t speak up, no one will ever know how you feel or what you want the future to look like.

MM: Malalai Joya said, “The silence of good people is worse than the action of bad people.” All those people who stayed home and didn’t vote during the last election could have made a difference! Speak up. Stand up. Be counted.

What was it like to share the experience with your colleagues? 

LO: I’m so glad I got to share this experience with my coworkers and other members of the Publicis Groupe community. I loved having the opportunity to get to know my colleagues outside of the office and learn more about what is important to them. We joked quite a bit about how we were using the “Power of One” to influence change that we believe in. But, jokes aside, I think that has some truth.

MM: Amazing! It was wonderful to share the experience with like-minded coworkers. It made us all appreciate the company we work for and the people we work with.

In a sentence, why does marching matter? 

LO: No one will know what you are thinking or what you want if you don’t tell them. We are at a defining moment in history; we can stand by the sidelines and watch it happen or we can join in, create meaningful change and influence our future.

MM: This is a scary time in our country. It is more important than ever to speak up so that we don’t normalize things that are wrong in politics. I was blown away by the spontaneous demonstrations that sprang up at airports around the country this weekend after the immigration ban. I think this administration has woken up the silent majority.

Anything else you would like to add or say to the Publicis New York family about your experience?

LO: I love this quote by Hillary Clinton: Never doubt that you are valuable and powerful—and deserving—of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.”

MM: We work with good people. We are stronger together.

Publicis Takes on Advertising Week New York 2016:

Each year, Advertising Week New York gathers the brightest leaders from the marketing, advertising and entertainment industry to explore their visions, passions and practices. Speakers and panelists discuss not only what’s happening now in communications—but also what’s next.

Five representatives from Publicis North America will be speaking throughout the week: Carla Serrano, Susan Gianinno, Andrew Bruce, Jon Hackett and Andy Bird.

Get all the details on the topics they’ll be discussing and how to find them:

Carla Serrano, CEO New York

Panel: “Wired Women”

A panel of female industry heavyweights will discuss how the power of big thinking has helped them overcome workplace obstacles and empower other women in the process.

Monday, September 26, 4:15 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Read more.

Susan Gianinno, Chairman North America

Panel: “CEO Connectors”

We live in a digital, mobile, technologically converged world. This panel will explore the challenges and opportunities of marketing within it.

Tuesday, September 27, 10 a.m. – 10:50 a.m.

Read more.

Andrew Bruce, CEO North America

Panel: “The ‘Agency’ of the Future: a Conversation With Stalwarts and Upstarts”

The agency is dead—long live the agency! Leading executives from holding companies and agency startups will address what’s in store for the future of agencies.

Tuesday, September 27, 2 p.m. – 2:50 p.m.

Read more.

Jon Hackett, Director of Emerging Technology

Panel: “Adobe Think Tank: The Future of Customer Experiences”

Leaders in tech and marketing will debate and explore the future of digital experiences and the marketplace—as well as the consumers—that will hold them.

Can’t be there in person? Catch us on Facebook Live.

Wednesday, September 28, 4 p.m.

Read more.

Andy Bird, Chief Creative Officer

Panel: Creative Carousel

Take a turn on the creative carousel as this all-star panel shares thoughts on life, creativity and our industry’s best creative work.

Thursday, September 29, 2 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

Read more.

Melissa Nelson Named President Publicis Seattle

Pedigree Includes Leading Marquee T-Mobile business, Global High-Profile Brands and Award-Winning Work

MN photo (1)

SEATTLE, WA (August 31, 2016) – Melissa Nelson has been named to the new position of President, Publicis Seattle, reporting directly to Publicis Worldwide North America CEO Andrew Bruce. Nelson was named Executive Vice President & Managing Partner for the marquee T-Mobile business in December 2015. As President, she will continue to be the most senior lead on the business in the Seattle office.

“Melissa’s leadership on T-Mobile and her passion for their brand and business will be enriched in her new post,” shared Andrew Bruce. “Additionally, now her expertise and leadership will extend to all clients and the talented individuals who fuel our agency here in Seattle.”

Publicis Seattle is one of the top advertising agencies in the market. The agency is privileged to work with T-Mobile and a range of clients including Visit Seattle, KEXP and the Special Olympics, among others.

Immediately prior to joining Publicis Seattle, Nelson led the global Motorola business as Group Account Director at Droga5 in New York. Her pedigree includes helping to build and manage teams creating award-winning work for Target, Chevrolet and HP — all complex pieces of business, with massive scale. Nelson’s career also includes top account management positions at 72andSunny in Los Angeles and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco

Nelson stated, “Diving into and leading the T-Mobile business has been a phenomenal experience. It is an amazing brand, with a really strong POV.

T-Mobile is a brand, and business, which is pivotal not only to the Seattle marketplace, but to our agency. I am proud to continue to partner with T-Mobile and additionally, to now lead, grow and expand Publicis in Seattle.”

About Publicis Worldwide North America:

Publicis North America is the fastest growing regional network within Paris-based Publicis Worldwide. A new era agency network, Publicis North America embraces the worldwide mission ‘To Lead The Change’, partnering with our clients in creative cross-channel communications and innovative digital technologies. Publicis New York is the flagship office for the network, with full-service offices in Seattle, San Francisco, Dallas, Toronto, Montréal, Calgary and Windsor. Publicis Worldwide is a part of Publicis Groupe.

What I Learned About Advertising in 8 Weeks

End of Internship_crop

On Friday we said goodbye to a fantastic crew of summer interns. To mark the end of their time with us, we asked some of them to share what they learned about advertising in their 8 weeks with Publicis.

Feedback is king.

Everyone has something they can and should bring to the table. I’ve learned, though, that the real brilliance in advertising sparks not from just one dynamic person, but rather from the way a whole team picks at and pokes holes in an idea until it’s solid. Brainstorming as a group, bouncing thoughts off of colleagues and mentors, and seeking out as much feedback as possible – these were the things that taught me the most. Feedback is the best way to learn how to digest different perspectives, find a common thread, and get to the core of a concept. It’s the best way to find what it is that you can and should bring to the table.

– Sanjana Sekhar


Feedback is great, but go with your gut.

There are a lot of smart people at this company who you should be getting feedback from, however, don’t be afraid to not use their feedback. If someone offers you feedback and you don’t agree with it, you don’t have to implement their feedback in your idea. Trust yourself! Everyone will always have feedback. People will always have a slight issue with your idea. No idea is ever perfect. Take every ounce of feedback you get with a grain of salt and ultimately go with your gut. It’s your idea after all.

– Benjamin Stops


Working with a team can be challenging but there is so much to learn from others.

This summer is one of the first times in my life I was assigned to execute such a detailed and important project with a group of 9. As someone who is used to working alone, clicking away on Photoshop or screenprinting with ink running down my clothes, the thought of this scared me a little. When working in a group this size there will be many personalities and different priorities, but ultimately a plethora of incredible ideas. I was more overwhelmed everyday by the informative research & creative ideas my team came up with than any problems we ever had. Being taken aback everyday by the beautiful minds of the people I was given the chance to work with was definitely a positive attribute in my daily life at Publicis.

– Christie Childers


Be prepared to strap into a rollercoaster with the workload.  

Throughout the course of 8 weeks I found that my workload has been more inconsistent than my Pokemon GO connection.  Coming in thinking I would be working from 9am to 5pm, I soon found that 5pm really meant anywhere between 3pm and 10pm.  Some days I would be watching the clock tick at the coffee bar, and other days I would find myself downing my coffee to rush off to a meeting (another lesson learned: make sure the barista knows your order by the end of week one).  Although staying one night until 10pm doesn’t sound amazing, being at the office late with my intern team was actually one of my favorite experiences at the office. We were all there because we wanted to be there – we were excited to work and genuinely enjoyed each others company through the long hours.

– Julia Caffrey


Get to know someone else’s superiors.

In any new situation it’s always important to figure out just whose DM’s you might want to slide into… or in this case, whose email chains. To me, making connections with creatives and superiors who I admire has always been a rewarding venture even if I don’t report to those people directly. The most stimulating part of this internship experience has been the culmination of creative and competitive spirits that my teammates and I shared on our intern project as well as the various projects my luscious (her requested adjective) Art Director and I have collaborated on with some very talented, brilliant, and wickedly stylish Citi team members.

– Mason Douglass

Monday Routine: Ben Royce, SVP Director of Search

Ben Royce

Monday Routine is a blog series highlighting people and roles throughout the Publicis North America office. Ben Royce is the SVP, Director of Search for Publicis North America.

I started my advertising/marketing career while studying at the University of Wisconsin, when I landed a part time job running in Milwaukee. Yup, pet strollers. We sold millions.

Then I took a job running the digital marketing operations for a group of ecommerce sites in London, UK where I learned firsthand the complexities of multilingual and multicurrency businesses. With my visa about to run out, I moved to New York to work for Alacra, which built anti-money laundering products for banks and I ran an ecommerce site for financial research. That was my big exposure to large scale sites and the effects of search engine changes.

I was introduced by SapientNitro to help run and build out their organic search offering. Using some of the tactical approaches I learned in ecommerce, I applied them to larger operations beyond ecommerce. Around the time Sapient was acquired by Publicis I joined Publicis Worldwide as the SVP, Director of Search in North America.


First thing is Amazon Echo/Alexa reads the daily news from NPR while I mix Emergen-C with sparkling water. Basically it is vitamin-laden homemade Orangina. Then I scan Reddit for anything interesting in technology news. Some of my favorite subreddits include: /r/dataisbeautiful and /r/futurology.

I try to keep my commute as varied as possible and living in Brooklyn means I have many train options. If it is a nice day I’ll walk over the Manhattan bridge, but either way it involves answering emails in short form or replying with a smiley and “TLDR, just Slack it,” watching YouTube channels like Smarter Everyday, or listening to the Freakonomics and A16Z Podcasts. An unhealthy obsession with an app called Exit Strategy allows me to obsess over which train car will be most efficient given my exit point in the station. This is a constant battle for optimization that has no real tangible benefit other than 5-6 steps per day. My fitbit doesn’t even notice the difference.

I usually arrive around 9:30am and head into the scheduled meetings with a strong coffee from Bibble & Sip on 51st street, or our in house cafe.


Being a department head is a shift from my analyst and manager days. During meetings I have to balance the direction of the work we do for clients, ensure some time for team members to tinker and research new approaches, and maintain profitability.

I am perpetually 6 minutes late to every meeting. I have no excuse for this, nor a solution. I just accept it as I do the weather.

I meet with team members often and prefer walking meetings outside so I’ll head west down to the Hudson River and back. I avoid Times Square as much as possible, I find some of the costumed street performers a bit creepy.

When I have nothing scheduled, I spend time in our Data Immersion Lab on the 27th floor where I can run tests on our client data and experiment with visualization technologies.

At the end of the day I’ll play Xbox in our game room with our analysts and strategists. Forza and Rocket League are the top picks. The HTC Vive is also a popular virtual reality experience.


One-on-one meetings in the Search & Data Science team are in three flavors: breakfast, walk ‘n talk, or drinks. So sometimes I’ll unwind with a team member over a Blue Point Toasted Lager and then head home.

Most nights there are some events between Columbia University, General Assembly or that I attend. Otherwise it’s a healthy dose of Grand Theft Auto and reading parody accounts on Twitter: @BoredElonMusk and @adweak.

Bienvenue To Our Publicis Summer Interns!

You’ve seen every season of Mad Men but it’s only left you wondering: what is it like to work at a modern day advertising agency? Over the course of 9 weeks this summer, 26 bright-eyed interns from across the country will be joining the Publicis family to learn all about what we do in the ad industry.

These shining talents are assigned to departments and brands throughout the company. At the frontlines of our agency, they will learn everything from what a day in the life of a producer looks like to the intricacies of data science and search. At the end of the summer, they’ll show off everything they’ve learned by putting together and pitching a complete campaign to both clients and senior executives from the Publicis team.

Two weeks before our group of interns joined us, we asked them to start thinking about one of the basic building blocks of our industry: understanding and building a brand. To help them think about what it means to brand a client, we asked them to create 90 second branding videos for themselves that told us quickly and concisely who they are in both broad strokes and subtle nuances.

Here are a few of the fantastic results we got:






Stay tuned for more updates from our interns this summer!

Carla Serrano Named CEO of Publicis New York

Blog Post Banner Image-CarlaPublicis New York’s Chief Strategy Officer Carla Serrano has been promoted to CEO of Publicis New York. Serrano joined Publicis Worldwide North America in 2014 as Chief Strategy Officer, and is a member of the Publicis Worldwide Comex leadership team. In her new role, she will report directly to Publicis North America CEO Andrew Bruce, who has held the position, along with CEO North America, for the past two years. Read More ››

Duncan Bruce Promoted to President and CEO of Publicis Canada


Duncan Bruce, Publicis Canada’s current President & Chief Creative Officer has been promoted to Canadian President & CEO, effective immediately, according to Andrew Bruce, CEO Publicis North America and Yves Gougoux, Chairman Publicis Canada. His promotion comes as a direct result of the agency’s marketing transformation and the growth it continues to drive. Seismic shifts in consumer behavior and the empowerment that underpins it has informed the vision set by Duncan and his team in Toronto and Montreal. The result is a diverse and dynamic agency that today sits atop the country’s innovative industry leaders. Read More ››

Publicis North America’s Dawn Winchester Appointed Global Managing Director of Nurun


Publicis Worldwide‘s global digital agency, Nurun, has appointed Dawn Winchester, Chief Digital Officer of Publicis North America, as its Global Managing Director. She will work alongside Steve Tremblay, Nurun’s Global Chief Technology Officer, and will report on a global level to Arthur Sadoun, CEO, Publicis Worldwide while continuing to report to Andrew Bruce for her North America responsibilities. Winchester will take on a dual capacity across both roles with immediate effect.


Publicis Toronto Hires Max Valiquette as New Head of Strategic Planning


Publicis Toronto has announced that Max Valiquette has joined the agency as its Vice President of Strategic Planning.

Duncan Bruce, President of Publicis Canada, said: “When we set out to fill this role we were looking for a partner that could help us shape a planning model for the future. In a world where we cannot fall upon the conventions of traditional interruption-based communications, it is critical that we marry an intimate understanding of the cultural context with behavioural analysis in order to identify opportunities for our clients to connect in authentic and meaningful ways. Max is here to do exactly that.” Read More ››