WFA raises concern over Publicis Omnicom merger


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The World Federation of Advertisers has expressed its concerns that the merger of Publicis Groupe and Omnicom could impact on competition and transparency.

The proposed deal, which was announced at the end of July, will create the world's largest advertising holding group and bring a host of competing advertising, digital and media agency brands under single ownership.

It also creates the potential for client conflict with many Publicis and Omnicom clients now facing the prospect of working with agencies sharing ownership with their rivals' partners.

Omnicom owns BBDO, TBWA and DDB as well as OMD and PHD, while the Publicis roster includes Leo Burnett, Saatchi & Saatchi as well as Digitas, Razorfish and Starcom Mediavest.

Stephan Loerke, Managing Director of the WFA said that while the merger may bring some benefits, there are also clear areas of concern. "While we recognise the fact that combined they may provide enhanced economies of scale and a better understanding of the complex digital platforms that are now essential to all the world's advertisers, we are alert to the risks that excessive consolidation in the advertising market can also lead to a reduction in competition and transparency for our members," he said. "The WFA has a long track record in championing competition and transparency in the advertising sector and we will continue to do so in our responses to the relevant competition authorities."

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