“A merger of equals!” Seems there’s a certain familiarity to that corporate-speak-cliché, isn’t there? Based on the news coverage, analysis and punditry of the proposed merger between Publicis and Omnicon — already two of the world’s largest – ad agency groups — it’s going to work to the advantage of the involved corporations, its c-suite executives, their stockholders, stock option holders, platinum parachute beneficiaries and others who believe bigger is better.
But what about the agencies’ clients? Especially the automotive clients.
The individual holding companies can count among themselves is a blue chip list of big spending automotive customers. Toyota’s agency, Saatchi & Saatchi, is owned by Publicis, as is Leo Burnett which works for both Buick and GMC. Omnicom owns TBWA Chait Day, the shop that handles the Nissan account in the U.S. and internationally, while another Omnicom shop, Merkley+Partners, is the AOR – that’s agency-of-record for civilians — for Mercedes-Benz. Oh, and then there’s Volkswagen which, outside the U.S. is at the DDB shop which is also owned by Omnicom. That’s a total of five of the top ten most prestigious auto brands in the world.