Renault is moving to a bespoke agency consisting of long-term creative partner Publicis and Omnicom’s OMD, brand and marketing head Bastien Schupp has told The Drum.
Schupp says he considered bringing the whole caboodle in-house but decided against because of the difficulty of attracting and retaining talent. The two complementary units will work side by side, sharing KPIs but retaining their own P&Ls. Why not move it all into Publicis (or Omnicom?) Schupp says OMD’s deal with Renault is part of a wider group deal with Omnicom, also including Nissan and Mitsubishi. Doubtless Publicis boss Arthur Sadoun will be trying to persuade him to change his mind.
The new agency will operate first in France with APAC and South America to follow if it works.
Key to the whole business will be the COO of the new agency (who’s going to come from Renault) and ten or so Renault execs there to sign things off – and make sure war doesn’t break out.
In a way it’s the flip side of what advertisers like Unilever are doing, creating in-house studios. A closer analogy would be Procter & Gamble’s new construct for its fabric business in the US, headed by people from Saatchi & Saatchi.
All big companies are trying to save costs in a low growth world, in developed markets anyway, and this will be part of Renault’s plan too. The move also shows that holding companies and their agency networks are increasingly regarded as just another supplier these days, to be re-shaped as the client pleases.
The historic role some of them had as the guardians of growth – with therefore the freedom to operate quasi-independently of their clients – seems long gone.