Publicis and Omnicom: an ex Omnicommie’s two cents

I’m late writing about the Publicis-Omnicom merger dissolving.

And I don’t want to say much here, making other things happen today.

But I do want to say something real quick.

Just for perspective, I worked at two different Omnicom agencies. They were my first and last staff jobs.

All told, I spent nine years of my life underneath the Omnicom umbrella.

I worked weekends and late nights. I crashed on couches in conference rooms for a few hours before getting up and finishing off the project so we could make the deadline.

More than once, my team started over in the eleventh hour and delivered a piece of gold as worthy as the idea that got killed in the eleventh hour—then the entire team stuck it out to ensure that this last-minute idea would be produced to the best of our abilities.

We didn’t settle, we didn’t give in, we delivered until the project was finished.

Besides the main teams, we had IT people splicing together solutions to keep the technology infrastructure humming along, Finance people finding any discrepancies, and the Mail Room was there to pack and ship everything making sure it got out the door safe and sound.

During my time at Altschiller & Company and The Integer Group, I worked hard and worked with lots of hard workers. And the purpose of this posting isn’t to complain about any of that.

In a silly business like advertising—one that isn’t involved in saving lives or bettering the planet—the lone piece of credibility a person possesses is based on how hard they bust their ass.

As much as people talk about talent, talent gets you from your Goal line to your own 5-yard line. The other 95 yards are gained through hard work.

This business, I was never deluded in to thinking that I was working easy hours and leaving at five.

Welcome to the service industry. Your clients’ problems are now your problems.

When I think of the countless people who I worked with during that time on staff, I worked with some great people. From Account Service to Creative to Production and Studio, pretty much everybody I worked with treated clients’ money as if it were their own.

Thinking about all of this, I can’t help but wonder two things:

• How much money was spent during the meetings where Omnicom and Publicis execs negotiated terms of this now-defunct deal? Tally up the legal fees, the financial consultant fees, the investment banking fees, the restaurant bills, the cigar bills, the plane tickets to expensive cities, the hotel bills at expensive places—tally it all up.

• In the years leading up to this deal, how much actual time did the men at the top of these two entities spend worrying about the business issues of the clients in their agency networks? I just want to know if they spent any time at all.


Just wondering.

On the bright side, my promotion is cancelled.

So I’m glad for people who have jobs at any of the agencies underneath either the Publicis or Omnicom umbrella.

Also, I’m glad for clients who don’t have to wonder about where their business would fit once the new entity was up and running.

Madison Avenue can manage our brand of evil just fine.

We don’t need Wall Street helping us out.


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