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Interview: Razorfish CEO Bob Lord: Ready To Think About Buying — Not Being Bought

Publicis Groupe’s $530 million acquisition of Razorfish from Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) was anticipated for over a month, but the interactive shop’s CEO Bob Lord tells paidContent it wasn’t a done deal until about two weeks ago. The Paris-based ad holding company bested a higher bid from Japan’s Dentsu as WPP Group decided quickly to back off. Lord talked about how his firm will collaborate with other Publicis shops, how Bing fits in, and acquisition strategy. (No shopping list for India.)

One thing Lord emphasized was Razorfish’s independence within Publicis — although collaboration is key. Lord is ready to start planning additional acquisitions for the agency, which was hardly a shy shopper during the economic meltdown. For example, last October, Razorfish purchased Spanish digital ad shop Wysiwyg.

David Kaplan: What are the particular benefits to Razorfish of being part of a traditional ad holding company structure, as opposed to operating within Microsoft?

Bob Lord: When you look at the different ad holding companies and Publicis, having a unit like VivaKi, which is made up of Digitas, Starcom MediaVest Group and ZenithOptimedia, is a unique. It gives a clear niche to fit into. That said, we will remain autonomous and I will remain CEO, reporting to David Kenny, VivaKi