Omnicom-Publicis Merger: Valuable or Industrial-era Goliath?



Does Sir Martin Sorrell have it right or just defensive banter?  On his first LinkedIn post he states “Others in our industry may take strategic leaps backwards for various odd or inconsistent or contradictory reasons. ” Most agree, this is a shot at the recent announced merger of Omnicom and Publicis.

Well Sir Martin, I think you are on to something. The merger would seem to imply that the leap forward in efficiency or effectiveness is through “bigger is better” — seemingly an very industrial era idea for a post-industrial world. Sure it works, but it is a short-run play and slightly outdated. What does going long look like? It would seem that WPP is on to something with how they are focused on managing the portfolio of companies they hold. WPP is targeting approximately 40% of revenue from fast growing markets (emerging geographies), 40% from new media and 20% from data investment management (market research and analytics). He doesn’t go on to elaborate, but from the highlighted examples, WPP is interested in smaller, strategic buys that fill holes in their current portfolio.

Going further, both Omnicom-Publicis and WPP talk a lot about the “innovation” and cross collaboration of talent they are working on, but I find it hard to find real examples of this effort. It seems the most touted is Team Detroit from WPP, but it feels much more like just good account leadership and planning rather than true innovative models that can accelerate growth for clients.

[bra_blockquote align=’right’]The next era of marketing is not about “bigger is better”, but rather smarter decision making[/bra_blockquote]

The next era of marketing is not about “bigger is better”, but rather smarter decision making on the activities and investments you are making. So, bravo Sir Martin! The next question for both organizations is … Can they bring real and meaningful innovation to their existing services and business models?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *