PARIS and REDMOND, Washington, June 25 /PRNewswire/ --

- Companies Pursue More Engaging Digital Content, Increased Marketing Performance and Sharply-Defined Audiences

Microsoft and Publicis Groupe today announced a broad agreement to closely cooperate on three core objectives enabled by the emergence of the digital media world. Focusing on Content, Performance and Audience, respective teams will work to bring better value and more efficacy to their clients across the range of digital media experiences.

The relationship will center on key components of the digital marketing and advertising industry:

- CONTENT: The creation, production and distribution of programming, across the wide array of capabilities, tools, and services on the digital palette. - PERFORMANCE: Technologies, methods and innovation focused on the delivery of better performance including search, ad serving and the portfolio of performance technologies and services. - AUDIENCE: The definition, delivery and measurement of specific audiences based on a set of defined criteria

Through the Publicis owned studio PBJS, and in partnership with the Vivaki Nerve Center, Microsoft will support a PBSJ-developed Content Studio to help enable large scale, global programming opportunities. Publicis Groupe clients will have first access to the programs delivered by the Content Studio.

Microsoft and Publicis Groupe will also work together to explore technologies and methodologies that will enhance engagement, performance and return on investment in the digital marketing and advertising space. The first of these efforts is an ongoing Microsoft commitment to The Pool, a VivaKi research initiative that tests new online video ad formats and new digital ad models. The first lane of the Pool, in test this summer, focused on online video. The second lane, announced last week, will focus on short form video content. Future lanes will encompass mobile, advanced television and social marketing.

The focus on audience is the creation of a customized VivaKi ad exchange for television advertising delivered via the Admira technology, developed by Microsoft's Navic subsidiary. This will enable more audience-specific television buying by VivaKi, creating an Audience on Demand for television. Admira aggregates anonymous audience intelligence that may be more challenging to find using traditional sources of viewership measurement, and combines it with additional audience characteristics currently not available on existing television advertising platforms. Admira can continuously optimize ad placements in response to near real-time viewing trends and report the actual audiences that are delivered, which will help agencies and advertisers measure the success of campaigns.

As part of the agreement, Starcom MediaVest Group, Zenith Optimedia and Digitas will be one of the first agency networks to use Microsoft Advertising's Admira technology to help clients plan and buy media when Admira goes live in the fourth quarter of 09.

This agreement reflects our commitment to partner with the world's largest agencies to drive new ideas and innovations that address the complex marketing needs and challenges facing advertisers today, said Darren Huston, corporate vice president of Microsoft Corp's Consumer Online group. It illustrates our belief that partnerships that bring creativity and technology together can be a powerful combination for brand marketers looking to grow their share.

David Kenny, managing partner of VivaKi and a member of the Publicis Groupe Directoire, said of the agreement: Maurice Levy founded VivaKi on the principle of open source pursuit of digital solutions for clients. By partnering with Microsoft and focusing on three critical components of content, performance and audience, we are a stronger partner to our clients and can bring them solutions ahead of the marketplace. Given the pace of change in today's consumer landscape, collaboration is the smartest approach to keep marketers ahead of the curve.

About Microsoft Advertising

Microsoft Advertising provides world-class advertising tools and solutions for digital advertisers and publishers to drive brand and consumer engagement. The portfolio includes all of Microsoft's digital advertising businesses: its global media network that includes MSN, Windows Live, Office Live, Xbox LIVE, Live Search, Facebook and more, and its global technology platforms and tools that include Atlas, AdECN, adCenter, DRIVEpm, Massive, Navic, Rapt and ScreenTonic, which together create engaging digital advertising experiences for their consumers. Microsoft Advertising helps make buying and selling media simple, smart and cost-effective across media and devices in the Microsoft network of properties and beyond, which spans 42 markets globally and 21 languages. Visit for more information.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq MSFT) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Navic, a subsidiary of Microsoft has been a leader in advertising and interactive television technology to the cable and direct broadcast satellite television industry. More information is available at

About Publicis Groupe

(Publicis Groupe [Euronext Paris: FR0000130577] is the world's fourth largest communications group. In addition, it is ranked as the world's second largest media agency, and is a global leader in digital and healthcare communications. With activities spanning 104 countries on five continents, the Groupe employs approximately 45,000 professionals. Publicis Groupe offers local and international clients a complete range of advertising services through three global advertising networks, Leo Burnett, Publicis, Saatchi Saatchi, and two multi-hub networks, Fallon and 49%-owned Bartle Bogle Hegarty. Media consultancy and buying is offered through two worldwide networks, Starcom MediaVest Group and ZenithOptimedia; and interactive and digital marketing led by Digitas. Publicis Groupe recently launched VivaKi to leverage the combined scale of the autonomous operations of Digitas, Starcom MediaVest Group, Denuo and ZenithOptimedia to develop new services, tools, and next generation digital platforms. Publicis Groupe's Specialized Agencies and Marketing Services offer healthcare communications, corporate and financial communications, sustainability communications, shopper marketing, public relations, CRM and direct marketing, event and sports marketing, and multicultural communications.

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Contacts: Microsoft: Tom Phillips, Microsoft Advertising +1-206-619-4013; Alex Kingdon, Microsoft Advertising EMEA +44-7971-002936; Publicis Groupe / VivaKi: Peggy Nahmany, Corporate Communications +33(0)1-44-43-72-83; Cheri Carpenter, VivaKi Corporate Communications, +1-312-446-9276; Martine Hue, Investor Relations, +33(0)1-44-43-65-00