Omnicom media agency M2M recently lost founding client Estée Lauder to sister agency Manning Gottlieb OMD (OMD is Omnicom’s biggest media agency in the UK ahead of PHD) and now, maybe, we can see the reason behind this odd move.
M2M is closing in the UK as OMG (Omnicom Media Group – all highly confusing we know) restructures into three global offerings: OMD, PHD and new entity Hearts & Science. Hearts & Science, which claims a uniquely productive relationship with out new friend data, has taken the US media market by storm with $7bn of billlings from two of the biggest US advertisers, AT&T and Procter & Gamble. It’s now opened in the UK, just in time for P&G UK’s £210m media pitch.
So the writing was on the wall for M2M anyway. The fact that it’s also lost Paddy Power and Lidl to Publicis Groupe and WPP respectively can’t have helped. It employs about 100 people who’ll be redeployed, it says. Some, presumably, to H&S. It still has outposts elsewhere in the world but these must be under threat too.
As with creative agencies, you sometimes wonder why the big holding companies have so many media agency brands. Then, of course, you realise: account conflict. But as more big advertisers seek holding company deals for their business some of these agency brands have become an endangered species.
Mind you, creating a new one in the form of Hearts & Science, with its already-fabled ‘secret sauce,’ seems to have paid off. Nervous times though if you happen to work for a media agency. There’s also speculation that Dentsu Aegis, which owns Carat, is mulling whether or not it needs much smaller second network Vizeum.
Vizeum was once BBJ, a media independent co-founded by current Dentsu Aegis boss Jerry Buhlmann. But business is business and Jerry’s not a man for sentiment.