Tuesday, March 15, 2005

:: adgruntie :: Changes At Omnicom

+ Omnicom makes some changes to compete against the other big holding companies in a return to the multi-disciplinary agencies that once ruled New York's Madison Avenue.The idea is to transform its global advertising networks - BBDO Worldwide, DDB Worldwide and TBWA Worldwide - into what he calls "communications companies".
John Wren, chief executive of Omnicom, the world's largest advertising group by revenue, says a new era is fast approaching.

"What happened in the 1990s was the consolidation of this business," Mr Wren says, speaking in his modest, Madison Avenue office. "What's going to happen in the 21st century is the evolution of these assets into fully integrated advertising and marketing communications organisations which are no longer simply focused on television commercials."


Mr Wren's conviction that Omnicom has had to move with the time is founded on a belief that the advertising agency of the future will have four key abilities: it will make advertisements; it will be able to help clients figure out where to place them for the maximum impact - a business known as media planning; it will practise customer relationship management - employing the internet, mail or other means to interact with consumers; and it will have specialist knowledge in how to use retail stores for advertising.

To some degree, Omnicom is turning back the clock in order to make these changes. When the company was formed in 1986 by the merger of BBDO, Doyle Dane Bern bach and Needham Harper Worldwide, it put all the marketing services operations into a division called Diversified Agency Services, or DAS.

At the time, the decision was taken to give marketing services - such as direct mail, design and branding consultancy - greater freedom. But now, in the new business climate, some of the marketing services companies are being reintegrated with the advertising agencies.

"The clients don't want to deal with 100 suppliers any more," says Mr Wren, who once led the DAS division. "They want to go to a place that can ensure that communication across all media is integrated and that the people working on their behalf speak to, and understand, the other guy's discipline."

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