EDITORIAL: Omnicom must spill the beans on merger plans

It’s time for Omnicom to come clean on whether or not its two London agencies, GGT and TBWA Simons Palmer, will be merged. Not to do so threatens to cause unease among clients who are entitled to know that their business will remain in control of those they trust. Equally important is the impact on the staff of both shops, whose understandable fears for the future are bound to have a debilitating effect on morale and performance.

It’s time for Omnicom to come clean on whether or not its two

London agencies, GGT and TBWA Simons Palmer, will be merged. Not to do

so threatens to cause unease among clients who are entitled to know that

their business will remain in control of those they trust. Equally

important is the impact on the staff of both shops, whose understandable

fears for the future are bound to have a debilitating effect on morale

and performance.



By marrying the two operations, Omnicom has the opportunity to create a

potentially outstanding agency. Client conflict is almost non-existent

and combined billings of more than pounds 300 million would propel it to

the fifth largest agency in London. This at a time when the middle

ground is looking an increasingly unhealthy place to remain as the

industry polarises between leviathans and niche players.



But there are significant problems to overcome. One is avoiding a

possible top-heavy management structure. Another is minimising the

disruption in uniting two agencies which have already experienced merger

upheavals within the past year.



But as all parties ponder the merger question, they might recall what

happened in 1991 when the Omnicom-owned BBDO merged with Abbott Mead

Vickers.



The deal - one of the neatest in UK ad history - was completed in just

ten working days. Sometimes it pays to trust your instinct.



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