Razorfish-Publicis: And the Digital Walls Come Tumbling Down

The prevailing wisdom has been that the important word in ‘digital advertising agency’ wasn’t the advertising as much as it was the digital. Technology was king.

That has all changed, as seen in two deals in the past week. On Sunday, Microsoft (MSFT) sold its digital advertising agency Razorfish to French advertising giant Publicis Groupe. This followed closely on the heels of Google’s (GOOG) sale of its Google Radio advertising business to WideOrbit, a closely held company with a leading position in managing advertising on cable networks.

These deals give an indication of how the circle of competence for the two technology-led giants has changed. A decade ago, a key differentiator of a digital agency was technology and its understanding of how the then-mysterious internet functions.

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