Mega-mergers and the opportunities they provide

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LONDON — The merger of Omnicom and Publicis, announced yesterday, will undoubtedly be causing their combined 120,000 global employees some head-scratching today.

These two great firms include such commonly known brands as Leo Burnett, Saatchi & Saatchi, and MSL Group (Publicis) and BBDO, DDB and Ketchum Pleon (Omnicom).

We know what some of the most common challenges that businesses face in mergers are. Many of today’s media reports are focusing on the ‘culture’ of the two businesses. But there are others that are potentially more important:

  • Leadership
  • Accountability
  • Innovation
  • Systems
  • Processes
  • Communications

Large communications firms are notoriously bad at managing their own development. As are professional services firms.

Today the leaders of Omnicom and Publicis are feeling quite enthusiastic about it.  In the individual companies, owned and operated by Publicis and Omnicom, they are probably feeling a bit more uneasy.

For their competitors, there must be a sense of opportunity.

A mega-merger means less high-level competition — whether that is acknowledged or not.  And that leaves more space for people who may want to pinch their lunch money.

And then there is the chance to see these companies manage their profile during a massive change management process.

Those things will be exciting to watch.


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