30/07/2013 09:34 BST | Updated 27/09/2013 06:12 BST

The Publicis - Omnicom Deal.

It was awful wasn't it? The wait. It just seemed to go on and on. It's as if we all had nothing else to talk about. And then, pop! Out it comes, delivered early Sunday morning. What news! What joy! And we didn't have to wait too long for the name. The parents, Publicis and Omnicom called it: The Publicis Omnicom Group (POG), with the stock-listing symbol OMC. (Um? Oh!)

And it was a big boy, as we know. A combined revenue of $23bn and over 130,000 employees. Phew. Some hard labour to get that one out.

As parents go they are both very clever, nice, polished, polite and gentlemanly. I met Maurice Levy once a few years ago, well aware of the famous story of how in the early '70s he saved Publicis from death by fire because he had backed up all the company's data on magnetic tapes and he fled from the burning Champs-Élysées offices with everything intact. He is sharp and meticulous with dashing good manners which came into good use when in 2003 I somewhat awkwardly bumped into him in the Men's Room at The World Economic Forum in Davos.

He is one of the most influential men in France and the global advertising scene. Justifiably so.

I have only very briefly met John Wren, when I was meeting with the Chairman of Omnicom Bruce Crawford back in 1995. You can read my exploits with Omnicom on Madison Avenue in Creative Company; scroll straight to Chapters 9 and 10.

John Wren too is a highly regarded operator and in its creation, Omnicom built a solid reputation based on fairness and creativity and the sensible assimilation of businesses.

Now together they bestride the mighty world of marcomms like a colossus, while WPP, Interpublic, Havas and Dentsu walk under their huge legs and peep about to see what's left to buy.

But what's it all about?

Simple. The clue is in the press release. "The communication and marketing landscape has undergone dramatic changes in recent years including the exponential development of new media giants, the explosion of big data, blurring of the roles of all players and profound changes in consumer behaviour," said Mr Levy.

Having saved his company once by saving the data, he is saving his global group again. By sharing and combining the data - with Omnicom.

POG is big, (hundreds of offices all round the world); but there's always someone bigger out there. They are watching the Big G, the new media giant living and working at the epicentre of our lives and driving, shaping and refining our private and commercial existence. Importantly, Google is changing they way communication works, asking questions of the disciplines within organisations like POG.

Google has a market cap of almost $300bn dwarfing that of POG ($35bn) and WPP $13bn.

But Google only has about 24,000 employees. So, Google has a market cap of 10 times POG with a fifth of the staff.

And where are Google's offices? Who cares is the answer. They operate as a 100% digital company with ad revenues of $14bn in Quarter 2 of this year alone.

POG is hoping for $23bn in revenues. But on an annual basis.


It is to be hoped that the merger will result in as few job losses as possible but those that remain in the new entity will have stop "being" in the Digital Age and start "behaving" as a Digital Company.

In my new book, Implosion, I talk about what this means. You'll have to buy it, when it's published this September to find out (I'm a tease aren't I?) But, hey, this is a column about Ad Agencies so I thought a little judicious advertising of my own wouldn't be totally out of place.

Yes there are client conflicts, and competitors, big and small, will be licking their lips, but today I feel these things are less of an issue. For goodness sake, back in 1996 my agency had Boots No7, 17 and Natural Collection alongside The Body Shop. Such conflicts work in a kind of Zen way. You screw up and you lose two clients, not one.

No, for me the thing to watch is the ability of the new formed group to provide laser sharp focus for its clients, without the distraction of its multi-tentacled service offerings.

POG is a big entity, but the Big G is bigger and able to be clear about what it offers, why it's needed and how it works.

Can POG demonstrate the same clarity of vision and lead the transformation of a 100 year-old industry into something truly contemporary and exciting, and, of course, valuable to its clients?

We wait (yes, again, I'm afraid) for the new born to start talking and walking.