What the Omnicom/Publicis merger could mean for PR

Is this this kickoff to a wave of mergers? Will it further break down the barriers between advertising and PR? Experts are split.

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Clearly, the news will have the largest impact on the advertising industry, but a good many PR firms were part of the deal: Omnicom’s PR wing includes Fishburn Hedges, FleishmanHillard, Porter Novelli, Ketchum Pleon and Portland. Publicis has MSL Group and Publicis Consultants.

Just what effects will the merger have on those firms? What ripples might PR agencies feel—for example, pressure to merge, get bigger, and compete? PR Daily asked a few PR experts to offer opinions.

Merger wave?

David E. Johnson, CEO of PR firm Strategic Vision, says firms might absolutely feel pressure to merge in light of the weekend’s news.

“Yet many corporate clients such as Pepsi and Coca-Cola may feel uneasy with their accounts all under the same roof,” he adds. “It offers smaller companies with a worldwide reach to potentially scoop in and win accounts and also be able to stress a more personalized and targeted approach, which is the way marketing, advertising, and public relations has become with micro-targeting thanks to the explosion of social media. “

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