After years of looking for satisfaction by flirting with smaller fish, an American and a Frenchman find one another and make plans to join together as one. It sounds like a storyline perfect for film starring Humphrey Bogart and Audrey Hepburn (circa 1954).
The real story is less romantic: New York-based Omnicom Group and French Publicis Groupe announced a merger Sunday after years of scooping up boutique firms in the U.S. and Europe. If shareholders and government officials approve the merger, the Omnicom/Publicis conglomerate will be the largest advertising company in the world, spending roughly $100 billion a year (about 20 percent of global ad business), according to National Public Radio (NPR).
The digital marketing, advertising and public relations communities have been abuzz with the news for days—although many of us at Kuno Creative can’t really figure out why. We hardly do any media buying, and our revenues are nowhere near Omnicom and Publicis’ combined $22.7 billion. Should a 25-employee digital marketing agency like ours really be concerned with the merger?
Karl Sakas tackled this question in a blog on Agency Firebox. He says small agencies that focus on digital (and, honestly, were never really competing with either giant in the first place) have nothing to fear. “I am not afraid,” says Richard Edelman, president and CEO of Edelman. “You should not be either.”
In fact, according to Sakas, an Omnicom/Publicis merger may bring perks for us small digital marketing agencies, including:
“Omnicom/Publicis is seeking $500 million in cost-cutting,” Sakas says. “That’s probably 4,000 to 6,000 layoffs…and more importantly, other employees will be looking to jump ship ahead of future layoffs.”
Looking forward, “the best people will want to work for a firm at which they can be entrepreneurial and creative,” says Edelman. “It is a great time for talent to migrate to a firm dedicated to client service, integrity, long-term relationships and big ideas.”
At Kuno Creative, we’re always looking to bring aboard the best talent. Currently, we have openings for content marketing specialists, consultants and associate consultants and web developers. Kuno Creative CEO Chris Knipper shares why a marketing professional working for one of these giant conglomerates would want to work for a small digital marketing agency in the clip below.
The two conglomerates do work for some of today’s biggest brands, including AT&T, Visa, Pepsi, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and Wal-Mart. But each also represents a few smaller clients, many of which, according to Sakas, “are going to move even closer to the bottom of the queue.”
And bigger doesn't always mean better. For most clients, it’s not the size of the agency that matters—it’s the effectiveness of the work produced. Many of the smaller Omnimcore/Publicis clients will soon find themselves on the lowest rung on the totem pole. If they weren’t 100 percent satisfied with the work they were getting before the proposed merger, this announcement may just be the excuse they needed to seek new representation.
Small digital agencies like Kuno Creative can offer clients a more personal, intimate connection. Here, you speak directly with each person contributing to your project. And because we don’t have endless levels of higher-ups combing through work before it reaches the client, you also get the added bonus of faster delivery.
What’s your opinion? Should small digital marketing agencies be concerned with the Omnicom/Publicis merger?
Photo Credit: Laura Loveday
Known as Hawkeye for her near superhuman copy editing abilities, Lisa Gulasy applies her unique experiences in agency and journalism to manage strategy and day-to-day engagement of client social media profiles and assist in researching and writing blogs, press releases and advanced content. Find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.