Andrew Bruce named CEO of Publicis Groupe in Canada

In a new role for Canada, he will oversee all disciplines in the country, while maintaining his U.S. duties.
Andrew Bruce

Andrew Bruce has taken on an expanded role as CEO of Publicis Groupe in Canada, part of an ongoing roll out of the holding company’s global strategy aimed at creating a more integrated offering across disciplines.

Bruce was previously CEO of Publicis Communications – a division consisting of all the holding company’s creative agencies, such as Publicis, MSL, Nurun, Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett and BBH – holding the role for North America and for Publicis Communications West (one of three new regional divisions in the U.S. announced in the summer).

Based in Toronto, Bruce will now be stepping away from some of his North American-wide creative oversight in order to lead all of the holding company’s agencies across disciplines in Canada, as well as focus more exclusively on leading its creative offering in the U.S. western region.

The group CEO role, while new for Canada, has already been implemented in other markets and is part of a global strategy being led by Publicis Groupe global CEO Arthur Sadoun, Bruce says.

“It’s an incredible opportunity to bring together the talent that exists right now in Canada and to help us cross-fertilize our capability, bring more value to our clients by coordinating ourselves in such a way that we become the most complete partners we can for our key clients.”

In the new role, Bruce will oversee all capabilities in the country, including creative, media, data and technology, reporting directly to Sadoun. “He will help accelerate transformation and growth for our clients and company through unlocking the full strength of our ‘Power of One’ capability in the market,” the global CEO wrote in a note to staff.

Bruce started his career with the group at creative agency Publicis Worldwide Toronto, eventually becoming president and CEO of its operations in Canada. In late 2013, he moved to New York to serve as chief executive for the agency brand in both Canada and the U.S. and, three years later, was made CEO of Publicis Communications for North America.

In July, amid a restructuring in U.S. that organized the network’s agency brands into east, west and central zones, he was made CEO of Publicis Communications West, while keeping this duties as CEO of the group across North America.

With his latest promotion, Bruce maintains his responsibilities in the U.S. western region in addition to his new expanded Canadian remit. He will work closely with the current leadership teams in Canada, as well as Andrew Swinand and Jem Ripley, regional CEOs of Publicis Communications in the U.S. central and eastern regions. The CEO doesn’t anticipate making any changes to the Canadian leadership team, which includes Duncan Bruce, president and CEO at Publicis Worldwide Canada, Ben Tarr, president of Leo Burnett Canada and Mia Pearson, CEO of MSL Group in Canada and managing director of North Strategic.

“The only thing we will explore is what do we add, gaps that we can fill to make us even better.”

He believes the biggest challenge facing agency networks is that they often don’t effectively tap the opportunities that exist across the group – a structural challenge he says the group CEO role can help solve. “It gives me the ability to bring together the resources of our group to direct at our clients an opportunity, wherever we see it fit… and to be able to unlock opportunities by opening the doors to better integration.”