Wanted to add a few comments about Publicis Omnicom Groupe. Numerous sources have presented reports along the following lines:
Publicis chief Maurice Lévy and Omnicom CEO John Wren divulged little beyond what they said in a Paris press conference yesterday. But they told analysts that they decided to merge because of the exponential growth of new media giants like Google, the blurring roles of media and ad agencies, the explosion of big data, and changing consumer behavior as a result of technology.
This really shows that the merger will be a disaster. Trying to emulate technology companies and embrace digital is something Publicis and Omnicom have both failed to do—albeit in slightly different styles. Publicis has attempted to buy its way into the digital arena, acquiring enterprises like Digitas and Razorfish. Um, those are a couple of lousy digital shops that have not succeeded in coexisting with traditional advertising agencies within the network. Omnicom has tried blending digital with traditional, and the end results have been bad. Consider DDB and Tribal DDB or BBDO and Proximity BBDO. Omnicom ad agencies typically reject digital partners and ultimately seek to make digital an integrated medium—sans true understanding and expertise. To sum it up, two huge entities that are digitally clueless have combined forces to take on the digital frontier. In this case, one plus one equals poo.
For Publicis and Omnicom, digital is the new diversity. That is, there’s a lot of talk and feigned commitment, but nothing meaningful ever happens.