As the blogging world is desperate to have another random, passionate voice comment on Sunday’s marriage of the second and third-largest Agency holding companies, here are some thoughts:
With any change, human nature is to rebuff it. In particular, if I’m an executive at an Omnicom shop, I’m not loving this.
I laugh when people believe that this was done to combat the “big new media companies” like Google. One can construct a nice, manufactured rationale on why this was, but I don’t believe it legitimately factored in. Not one bit.
This was about scale, ego and shareholder value, and of course, the executives are significant shareholders. As negative as that may come across, it’s not meant to be. Many mega-mergers are done for similar reasons. And if someone can counter-argue how a great Agency like Goodby or BBH just got better, I’d love to hear it. This was a money and executive play, period.
Rival holding company leaders immediately dismissed the move as positive. What else are they supposed to say? “Oh s**t, we’re screwed?” Of course not. It will be highly interesting to see if any of those naysayers are involved in a deal in the coming twelve months…and in a post Andy Berlin and Donny Deutsch-world, is anyone more fun in the media than Martin Sorrell?
At the end of the day, this will be great for the industry. Whenever there is a focus on bigness and scale, the counter trend also is unleashed. The importance of independence and/or not being uber huge will be more prolific in Agency marketing efforts. More new Agencies and entrepreneurs will emerge (believe me, if we can do it, YOU can as well) as the power and beauty of small becomes equally en vogue.
Some clients will seek big. Others efficiencies. And some others, the power of great thinking and the impact that only those in the Agency world can provide. To be negative towards this deal is pointless; clients can vote by moving their accounts and employees are free to go down the elevator and go elsewhere.
I think the Agency world just got a lot more fun for the next few years. Stay tuned.
The worldwide celebration of creative and innovation excellence took place last week in Cannes, France. Agencies and Clients flocked to the Advertising’ annual equivalent to Davos for a week of inspiration and inebriation.
- Identify creative and productive innovations on the compensation issue for all parties to benefit from
- Recruit more diverse financial management talent to the Agency side
- Shed more sunlight around this being a “socially” acceptable business issue for Agencies to discuss with clients.
If you think you are one of them and wish to attend this dinner with the three forementioned Cannes winners, email me at email@example.com to lobby for an invite. And while this is just a dinner to kickstart something, perhaps this is something that triggers similar get-togethers at Ad Clubs across the country.
I am proud of a lawsuit. More importantly, I hope Ad Agencies are inspired by it as well.
Venture Capital star and First Round Capital founder Josh Kopelman sheds light on a lawsuit filed on behalf of one of its portfolio companies, Techforward.