The Publicis/Omnicom mega-merger: what does it mean for design?

Mon, 29 Jul 2013 | By Angus Montgomery

The ‘merger of equals’ between marketing services behemoths Omnicom and Publicis will create a new network nearly twice the size of WPP and completely reshape the marketing landscape.

Publicis Omnicom

Publicis Omnicom Group – to give it its new name – says it had combined 2012 revenues of $22.7 billion (£15 billion), compared to WPP’s reported revenues of £10.4 billion.

The new group’s equity is valued at $35.1 billion (£23 billion) compared to WPP’s market value of £13 billion (calculated at the end of 2012). Market analyst Investec says the newly merged group will be ‘the number one global agency by size’.

In advertising and marketing terms the merger brings together such iconic agency names as BBDO, Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett and DDB.

And in design terms the headline names brought together in the merger include Omnicom companies Interbrand and Wolff Olins and LBi, which was acquired by Publicis last year in a deal worth £332 million.

The merger is, undoubtedly, huge, and when Omnicom chief executive John Wren describes it as ‘reshaping the industry’ it’s hard to describe it as hyperbole. Likewise media and investment analysts are routinely describing the move as a ‘mega-merger’ that will knock WPP into second place.

But will this carry through to the design sector? WPP has spent the last two decades building up an impressive portfolio of complementary design consultancies – from creative specialist The Partners to retail giant Fitch and interactive supergroup AKQA, with all points in between covered.

Will the Omnicom/Publicis merger knock WPP off its design perch?

A quick overview of the agencies in the newly merged groups suggests a good fit. Omnicom has operated brand specialists Interbrand and Wolff Olins for several years, alongside communications group Fishburn Hedges Boys Williams, which counts design group Further as one of its agencies.

Interbrand is a division of the network, FHBW operates as a group of consultancies, while Wolff Olins is a wholly owned subsidiary company. All operate globally with strong and recognisable brands.

On the Publicis side, the big name is interactive giant LBi, which is currently beingmerged with Digitas to form a new global group which will comprise 5700 employees in 25 countries (the move is unaffected by its parent group’s merger).

So a new group that brings together Wolff Olins, Interbrand and (soon-to-be) DigitasLBi would have coverage across disciplines, clients and sectors and seem to be well equal to WPP’s roster.

And looking at the numbers, it seems that the two groups will be reasonably equal financially as well.

For our recent Top 100 survey, accountant Kingston Smith W1 pulled the most recently filed Companies House accounts from the networked consultancies (the majority of these are from 2011).

An analysis of these shows that the newly merged Publicis and Omnicom design groups report a total turnover of £141 million, while the merged WPP groups weren’t far behind, with a combined turnover of £121 billion.

Interestingly, market analysts suggest that WPP could see a short-term improvement in business as the merged Publicis Omnicom Group is forced to jettison clients due to conflicts of interest.

No individual consultancy within the newly merged group has yet admitted to having to cut clients ties due to the merger however.

New Publicis Omnicom Group joint CEOs Maurice Lévy and John Wren

New Publicis Omnicom Group joint CEOs Maurice Lévy and John Wren

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First Ever Wedding Exhibition in Khartoum Promotes Cultural Unity

CORINTHIA HOTEL KHARTOUM LAUNCHES BREAKTHROUGH INITIATIVE,

RESULTING IN INCREASING BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES FOR GCC INVESTORS

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, June 2013: In celebration of its 5th anniversary, Corinthia Hotel Khartoum, a five-star luxury property that has established itself as the premiere luxury hotel in the city, proudly launched last week the first ever Wedding Exhibition in Khartoum. This breakthrough initiative by the five star property has brought together 2000 visitors over its four-days forum, resulting in increased business for local entrepreneurs and businesses as well as attracting investors from the wedding and events industry from the GCC.

Weddings in Khartoum, as in many countries around the world are happy occasions that can bring cultural unison in a society. Corinthia Hotel Khartoum’s decision to launch this unique four-day Wedding Exhibition follows a clear vision from the hotel’s management to contribute to the economic development of the hotel as well as supporting the country’s economy by attracting foreign investors.

With the generous sponsorship from Samsung, Zain and Marsland Airlines, as well as the support of other quality partner exhibitors during the fair, the prestigious property Corinthia Hotel in Khartoum, sitting on the confluence of the Blue and White Nile, has opened its doors to local residents and also foreigners to make the best use of the beautiful and elegant hotel and its lush, landscaped gardens for weddings and events.

“We are highly satisfied with the large turnout at the fair and we feel that we have successfully achieved our main aims, which were to welcome residents and foreigners alike into our luxurious hotel to present to them the unique possibility of experiencing this unique event in their life onto the property’s luxurious premises”.

“Another objective was to bring together under one roof wedding organisers, health and beauty experts and other specialists required to organise a wedding to help them develop their business and we have fruitfully contributed to this”, added Mr Nicholas Borg, General Manager of the hotel.

Corinthia Hotel Khartoum has generously introduced a special package during the fair to couples who decide to have their wedding ceremony at the hotel. The couples receive a delicious wedding cake for free and best of all, complimentary nights in the specially designed honeymoon suites of the hotel.

For more information about Corinthia Hotel Khartoum, please visit: http://www.corinthia.com/en/Khartoum/home/

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