Publicis Groupe to Acquire CitrusAd For Identity-Led Retail Media

Charlie Menchaca
Managing Editor
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Publicis Groupe to acquire CitrusAd

Publicis Groupe announced that it will acquire CitrusAd, a software as a service (SaaS) platform optimizing brands marketing performances directly within retailer websites. 

With more than 50% of its activities in the U.S., CitrusAd is present across 22 countries and 6 industries. CitrusAd provides its technology to more than 70 major retailers globally such as Target, ShopRite and Petco. More than 4,000 brands are utilizing their self-served platform.

In 2023, e-commerce sales for CPG brands will have doubled compared to 2019 levels, according to Publicis. In this context, retail media is undergoing exponential growth. From roughly $30 billion annually already, it is set to double in the next 5 years, and will represent one of the biggest channels of CPG media spends in the next few year.

CitrusAd’s onsite expertise complemented with Epsilon’s offsite retail media offering, both powered by the CORE ID, uniquely positions Publicis Groupe to lead the new generation of identity-led retail media, with transparent measurement validated by transactions.

This will provide Publicis Groupe clients with three competitive advantages in e-commerce:

  • Growth: Clients will be able to accelerate their growth in this dynamic channel, by increasing conversion rate and maximizing return on ad spends. CitrusAd’s conversion rates are among the highest across the entire media industry with 60% conversion after a click.
  • Customer understanding: Brands will access superior customer understanding based on first-party data from retailers, equipping them for a cookieless world. Complementing CitrusAd with Epsilon’s capabilities, Publicis will be able to deliver quality identity resolution, with no dependency on third-party cookies, for optimized activation. The company intends to deliver this in a totally consent-by-design and privacy-compliant way.
  • Consolidated measurement: Brands will be able to reach their customers both onsite (in retailer ecosystems) and offsite (in publisher ecosystems) and measure in real-time the consolidated performance of their media investments, whatever the channel of conversions: in-store or online. All of this at SKU level and validated directly by transactions.

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CitrusAd is an Australian-based company founded in 2017 by Brad Moran and Nick Paech and gathers 130 engineers and retail media experts around the world. The company will act as a standalone business within Epsilon, being closely integrated into their technology to achieve market leading synergies. The transaction remains subject to customary approvals and is expected to close in the next weeks.

Brad Moran, Co-Founder and CEO of CitrusAd said:

It's not every day you find a partner the size of Publicis Groupe that not only shares the same vision and entrepreneurial spirit as CitrusAd but who can apply their advertising prowess and muscle to a technology company like ours. Retailers and brands are entering uncharted territory as retail media grows and having Publicis supporting CitrusAd in its efforts, I know that our customers will reap the benefit of a century’s worth of media expertise combined with high quality technology and a team of retail media experts.”

Arthur Sadoun, CEO and Chairman of Publicis Groupe said :"We are delighted to welcome Brad, Nick and the CitrusAd team to Publicis. The leading technology they have developed, coupled with Epsilon’s CORE ID will enable CPG brands to grow faster and retailers to generate new sources of revenue to win in a platform world. It will also give to Publicis a strong competitive advantage in a channel that by 2025 should surpass traditional TV spend."

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