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
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
The deal - one of the neatest in UK ad history - was completed in just
ten working days. Sometimes it pays to trust your instinct.