As Publicis Groupe SA and Omnicom Group Inc. work through regulatory delays to their plan to create a new leader in advertising, rivals say they’re picking up disgruntled customers and ad executives who fail to see how the merger helps them.
The embrace between Publicis Groupe SA Chief Executive Officer Maurice Levy and Omnicom Inc. CEO John Wren on a sweltering seventh-floor terrace at Publicis’s headquarters in Paris yesterday was the culmination of a courtship that began six months earlier in frigid Davos, Switzerland.
Publicis Groupe SA’s profit rose more than Chief Executive Officer Maurice Levy expected last year as the third-largest advertising company capitalized on U.S. business, digital activities and high-growth markets.
Publicis Groupe SA, the third- largest advertising company, has let business units freeze hiring to avert layoffs and has seen a “leakage” of spending from worried clients, Chief Executive Officer Maurice Levy said.
Publicis Chief Executive Officer Maurice Levy, whose company has made more than a dozen acquisitions this year, predicts more consolidation in the advertising industry even if some prices, like those for London’s Aegis Plc and the U.S.’s AKQA, are too high.