By Bryon K. Smith, M.B.A
The merger between Omnicom and Publicis, if approved by regulators, will create a behemoth with $23 billion in revenues in a mature business with little organic growth. The newly formed Agency will be known as Publicis Omnicom Groupe with Omnicom CEO John Wren and Publicis CEO Maurice Levy serving as co-CEOs.
WPP’s CEO, Martin Sorrell was quoted in USA Today saying “… Time will tell if the cultures will click and whether clients and talent benefit.”
Sorrell also noted that “co-CEOs is not an easy structure.”
This begs the question of whether you should hire a firm with competing CEO’s headquartered in Paris and New York (Publicis Omnicom) or one with a singular vision of hands-on direction to serve clients from its CEO (BILMBA Marketing). Who do you think will help you grow your business, two fat cats fighjting for control or one with focused Columbia MBA leader with experience building businesses?
David Jones, CEO of ad giant Havas, the sixth-largest advertising holding group in the world in 2012 by revenue, sent out this tweet: “Clients today want us to be faster, more agile, more nimble & entrepreneurial, not bigger & more bureaucratic & more complex.”
Publicis Omnicom’s staff will number 130,000 and $22 Billion in annual revenue, while BILMBA has a permanent staff of two with a digital rolodex of life-long Associates to call on to get jobs done expediently and billings well short of $300,000 per year.
According to Avi Dan, a Contributor to Forbes Magazine “the quality of the creative work has little to do with size. Relieved from the burden of delivering ‘the numbers’, smaller, independent shops can often invest in great talent. At the end of the day, every client engages a ‘small’ agency, anyway. Of the thousands of employees of the new company, the average brand manager will continue to interface daily with no more than 10 or 20 on their agency team.”
Who are these brand managers? What are their qualifications? Are they going to be preoccupied with learning to speak french or English? These Mad Men are very distracted, facing long-term disruption and the disintermediation of the industry to talented lean companies capable of arranging highly-skilled popup talent pods to surround a client’s service needs.