The Truth Comes Out: Omnicom-Publicis Merger Was Actually a Zany Agency Prank

Fred & Farid case study takes full credit

In the weeks since the Omnicom and Publicis Groupe megamerger fell apart, many have been asking why such a problematic union was proposed in the first place. Well now we know: It was all another agency's elaborate marketing stunt.

In an entertaining parody case study, Fred & Farid Group takes full credit for the "Omnipub" merger, an idea hatched to highlight just how far holding companies would go in their quest for world domination.

"Why not organize an epic fail with two giants? Instead of the usual David against Goliath, we made a Goliath against Goliath story. We created … 'The Impossible Wedding.'"

Setting events in motion like a Shakespearean villain, Paris-based Fred & Farid says it forged letters between Omnicom CEO John Wren and Publicis CEO Maurice Lévy, making each think the other was on board with the merger. Then the pranksters sat back and watched the hilarity ensue.

Like any good case study, #Omnipub includes some impressive metrics: 24,000 mentions, 500,000 media impressions and $100 million in wasted fees (quoted from our own coverage here at Adweek). 

So congrats to Fred & Farid for pulling off one truly epic viral prank. You got us!