It is hardly a sign of dynamism for a company to take more than five years from identifying a problem to doing more about it by setting up a corporate venturing fund.

That France-based advertising agency Publicis Groupe has this week committed to co-invest with local phone operator France Telecom-Orange up to €150m ($200m) in digital economy companies is nontheless to be welcomed.

France Telecom already invests in minority third-party equity through its Innovacom and Orange corporate venturing funds but the investment committee for the new fund will be drawn independently of both the phone operator and Publicis. This potentially opens the way for Innovacom to manage the new fund as its team is indepedent and already has third-parties committing capital to its funds.

Irrespective of management, the fund has a whiff of lateness about it. Maurice Lévy, chief executive of  Publicis in late 2006 wrote a report on…