Publicis and Omnicom call off merger

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | May 09, 2014
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The two global networks had announced their decision to merge last year.

Global advertising networks Publicis and Omnicom have called off their merger.

According to, this is due to "difficulties in completing the transaction within a reasonable timeframe." The publication quotes an official Omnicom statement: "The parties have released each other from all obligations with respect to the proposed transaction, and no termination fees will be payable by either party."

Publicis Groupe & Omnicom

Recall that around July last year Omnicom Group and Publicis Groupe announced their decision to merge; at the time, the new holding company was christened 'Publicis Omnicom Group'.

It was decided that this new holding company was to be jointly led by Omnicom CEO John Wren and Publicis Groupe CEO Maurice Lévy. They were to work as 'co-CEOs' for 30 months, after which Lévy was to become non-executive chairman and Wren was to continue as CEO.

The AdAge report goes on to quote Wren: "I want to emphasise that while the proposed merger was time-consuming, we never took our eye off the ball in terms of what we needed to deliver for our clients, our people and our shareholders. And that has been reflected in our reported results. We're bullish on 2014."

Levy is quoted saying, "The decision to discontinue the process was neither pleasant nor an easy one to make, but it was a necessary one. Prolonging the situation could have led to the diversion of the Group's management from its principle function: to best serve our clients."

AdAge goes on to say: The split was unanimously approved by the management board and the supervisory board of Publicis Groupe and the board of directors at Omnicom, according to the companies.

afaqs! reported in July last year: Both, Publicis and Omincom have significant presence in India. Among Publicis' key agencies are Leo Burnett, Publicis Worldwide (Publicis Ambience and Publicis Capital), BBH and Saatchi & Saatchi (which later became L&K Saatchi & Saatchi) on the creative front and Starcom MediaVest Group, ZenithOptimedia and Vivaki on the media front. Omnicom operates in India through DDB Mudra, TBWA, BBDO India and R K Swamy BBDO on the creative front and OMD and DDB Mudra Max on the media front.

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