Publicis Groupe Acquires Retail Media Platform CitrusAd

Publicis Groupe has acquired retail media technology company CitrusAd.
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More than 4,000 brands and 70 of the world’s leading distributors use CitrusAd’s platform for their self-service retail media platform. CitrusAd’s platform optimizes the marketing performance of brands directly on e-commerce sites, the company stated. The Australia-based company operates in 22 countries and six business sectors, though 50% of its activities are in the U.S.

Executive Summary

CitrusAd has been behind the launch of several recent retail media platforms, including Petco, Gopuff and Target’s Roundel. The company has enabled many brands to create their own networks--leading some in the industry to wonder if the retail media market will soon become oversaturated with advertising options.

The acquisition comes at a time when retail media is experiencing a significant boom--and is expected to continue growing. Online sales of consumer goods are expected to double by 2023 compared to 2019, representing exponential growth opportunities for retail media. Advertising in this space is expected to double over the next five years from the $30 billion in annual investment today.

Publicis Groupe, a France-based advertising agency, plans to combine CitrusAd's expertise on e-commerce sites with its own retail media technology through its company Epsilon. CitrusAd will be a standalone business within Epsilon, but it will be closely integrated with Epsilon’s existing retail media technology to create a retail media network offering for retailers, brands and publishers, the company stated. Both CitrusAd and Epsilon will be fed through the company’s CORE ID technology.

“It's not every day that you meet a partner the size of Publicis Groupe who not only shares CitrusAd's entrepreneurial vision but who can also connect their incredible advertising power to a technology company like ours,” CitrusAd CEO and Co-Founder Brad Moran said in a statement. “E-commerce sites and brands are entering a territory that is still largely unexplored, while retail media is booming. Thanks to the combination of CitrusAd and Publicis, clients will benefit from long-standing media expertise, coupled with cutting-edge technology and a team of retail media experts.”

Exec summary

Publicis Groupe noted a number of advantages as a result of the acquisition, including a high growth rate, with an industry conversion rate of 60%--the highest in the retail media industry. Publicis Groupe also touted its deep consumer knowledge and total transparency of performance on its platform.

“We are very happy to welcome Brad, Nick and the entire CitrusAd team to Publicis. The technology they have developed, coupled with Epsilon's CORE ID, will allow major brands to accelerate their growth and e-commerce sites to generate new sources of revenue to earn in a world dominated by platforms,” said Arthur Sadoun, chairman of the management board of Publicis Groupe. “This acquisition will also give Publicis a decisive competitive advantage, in a sector which, by 2025, is expected to exceed media investments in traditional television.”

Editor's Note: A previous version of this article suggested Dollar Tree is a client of CitrusAd. Dollar Tree has partnered with Swiftly and Aki Technologies to support its retail media network. We regret the error.