Well, we say ‘to merge’, but there are some stiff regulatory hurdles to jump in the coming months if two of the largest advertising and marketing agencies are to succeed in their plans to become one. If they manage it, the new entity will be twice as large as its biggest rival WPP, and will include storied agencies like BBDO, Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett, StarcomMediaVest, BBH and OMD under the same roof. Technology is one of the driving forces behind the decision to merge, which may spark more consolidation among smaller rivals. Publicis boss Maurice Lévy cited “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” as triggers for the merger. Bulking up at a time when Google is the key digital advertising player in the technology world is clearly a big part of this (much as in the books industry, Penguin and Random House’s merger was seen as providing more clout against Amazon’s similar role there). Research firm eMarketer estimates that globally, digital advertising will generate $116bn this year alone, so the Publicis/Omnicom deal has implications for any digital music or entertainment service with an ad-supported element. In other words: most of them.

source: GigaOm

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