Possible Conflicts Associated With the Publicis-Omnicom MergerFrom cars to food and beer, here's a look at potential pain points
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A number of auto brands are parked within each of the two holding companies. Publicis' Saatchi & Saatchi works with Toyota, while Publicis' Leo Burnett works on a number of GM assignments, including Buick and Chevy Silverado.
Toyota, after intially declining to comment, issued a supportive statement on Tuesday, noting that "Saatchi and Saatchi LA has assured Toyota that the merged entity will be respectful of client proprietary information. As in the past, the agency has gone to great lengths to protect Toyota from exposure of confidential information and we fully expect that will be the case going forward."
GM, meanwhile, seemed unconcerned by the merger. "We will work with the new entity; we don't anticipate any issues," said a representative for the U.S. auto conglomerate.
In other words, compartmentalizing brands at distinct sibling agencies can help provide enough separation between competing clients to keep them comfortable. Omnicom's TBWA works with Nissan. Holding company sibling Merkley + Partners handles Mercedes, and sister shop DDB works on Volkswagen in markets outside in the United States (IPG's Deutsch leads VW creative in the U.S.).
TBWA's Nissan relationship is part of the Japanese automaker's global strategic partnership with French car company Renault. A statement provided by a Nissan spokesperson signaled enthusiasm for the merger. "Renault and Nissan are major global clients of both Publicis and Omnicom. We welcome the direction taken by Publicis and Omnicom to create a best-in-class communications, advertising, marketing and digital services company and will continue to work with them during the transition period and beyond."
A spokesperson for Volkswagen said it would be premature to speculate on, how or if the merger would impact the company's agency relationships.