July 29, 2013Published by: Drew Benvie

Publicis Omnicom Group thoughts: focus on future media, not size

Screen Shot 2013-07-29 at 16.04.32

As everyone in advertising and the media will by now have seen, this weekend the world's biggest ad agency was formed, when Publicis and Omnicom signed and sealed a merger to create a group, now known as Publicis Omnicon Group, a $35 billion company.

The press and pundits worldwide have now had some time to chime in with their opinions. Most of the comments I have seen are negative, many simply objecting to the appeal of such a big group to a client and to staff.  This is to be expected, considering how many competitors POG now has.

Analysts' early thoughts are that it's good news for the industry, and the markets are doing well since the news broke too. Some of our respected industry thought leaders are putting forward some excellent points that are worth reading - Craig le Grice's points about diversity and client conflict are wise words indeed.

In Battenhall's world where social media is a big driver in how comms campaigns take shape, what this deal means for brands has a lot to do with what we want the business world of the future to look like and where digital, social and innovation sit. I think that the old model of running agency teams is broken, and I passionately believe it needs to change. We launched Battenhall in March this year to address this, and we set Battenhall up differently, in a way fits the current and future media landscape - not the landscape of the past. This means a set-up that fosters deep digital and social media skills at all levels in the agency. My essay for the Huffington Post and the FT's mention of our company culture both go into more detail.

We are a small, fast-growing agency. We'll be big one day soon, we're getting there as fast as we can. So we certainly don't think big = bad. It's all about how ideas, talent and innovation are organised. As you will see from much of the POG deal's analysis (ie here), digital is not a big part of the new business. But we hope to see things changing in their new agency set-up, as it is all around us in the media.

The bigger picture here is that POG is simply a collection of agency brands, each of which are very different. Some are huge, some very digital, many less so. I wish all the agencies the best and hope that the $35bn leviathan we now have in agency land can continue to thrive and innovate in the future.

(As a side note, POG's presence on Twitter has been a bit of a dog's dinner so far. We're still trying to make out which of their accounts are real and which are fakes...)

About Battenhall

We look after brand profiles on social media, and we're proudly the world's #1 at what we do. Named The Drum's social media agency of the year for the last three years running. Get in touch! hello@battenhall.com

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