- Publicis has acquired Translate Plus, a translation and transcreation company, as part of its effort to become a leader in language services for its worldwide brands, according to MediaPost.
- While translation services are straightforward, Translate Plus' transcreation ability goes beyond simply translating languages, instead adapting brand messages between different languages and cultures in a way that preserves the meaning and tone in the translation — an important capability when localizing campaigns.
- Translate Plus and its more than 130 employees in 10 global offices will be integrated into Publicis' cross-media production platform Prodigious, MediaPost said.
Localizing brand content continues to a be a major challenge for marketers. In a report from the CMO Council and HH Global published last month, only 33% of surveyed marketing professionals said their companies are advanced or doing well in adapting brand content for different markets, partners and geographies. Adding Translate Plus' transcreation capability to its services should help Publicis ease clients' concerns about not just translating but also properly optimizing brand messaging for local markets.
The acquisition comes at a time when major agency holding companies are under pressure from new competition from management and financial consultancies, which are often better versed in technology, along with growing market pressure that's manifested in the form of clients cutting budgets along with Wall Street analysts downgrading stocks. In response, most of the big holding companies, including Publicis, have been attempting to restructure and simplify their business while also deepening specialization areas like language services.
Publicis also took one of the more radical moves to realign its business under freshly-minted CEO Arthur Sadoun. In June, at the Cannes Lions advertising festival, he announced the company was taking a year-long hiatus from industry awards and trade shows to focus on Marcel, its new artificial intelligence platform. Internal memos at the company also suggest the break is a cost-cutting measure. In March, Publicis announced a partnership with Microsoft on a data services initiative.
Both Marcel and the agency's expanded data services capabilities might be leveraged in tandem with Translate Plus.