The merger of two giants in the advertising industry, Omnicom and Publicis, announced in July, marked the creation of the largest ad company in the world.
It also forecasts a significant industry shift, as ad agencies’ primary focus transitions from writing creative copy to generating and selling consumer data for online ads. And it sets up the newly merged company to compete with the likes of Google and Facebook for user data to place ads, the New York Times reports.
Technology and consulting companies are increasingly bypassing traditional advertising agencies to develop ad and marketing campaigns directly with their clients.
The merger between Omnicom and Publicis is an attempt to stay relevant in this changing landscape. “Collecting Big Data and being able to turn it into insights is the ambition of both companies, and it will be the ambition of the single company,” said John Wren of Omnicom.
In addition to fighting to staying relevant in a changing landscape, the newly merged company faces the challenges typical a “merger of equals”—such as trying to balance personnel and assignments—in addition to navigating cultural differences between French Publicis and American Omnicom.