Disney global media review is welcome relief for Omnicom and Publicis

Disney has concluded its giant media review – estimated at between $2-3bn – more or less as you were, with new Omnicom entity OMG23 (Disney was formed in 1923) winning most of North America including new Fox acquisitions and Publicis most of the rest of the world including Europe. Publicis retains sports channel ESPN in the US.

Publicis’ new entity – de rigueur in big pitches these days – is called Publicis Imagine. It includes new data firm Epsilon.

OMG has refuted suggestions that the deal involves a “share shift” of clients to Disney properties: “We can confirm that there are no conditions regarding spending commitments, share-shifts or any other investment endeavors. The investment recommendations of our agencies are always made in the best interests of our clients—premium content providers like Disney stand on their own merit.”

Publicis CEO Arthur Sadoun says: “This was the most important pitch of the year. Disney were looking for an innovative, future-proof agency model to support the vision and demands of their business.”

Sadoun says Publicis will “seamlessly combine Zenith’s media expertise, and the firepower of Epsilon’s unmatched data offering.”

Given the scrutiny the ad holding companies are under the most important thing for them now is not to lose a biggie and Omnicom and Publicis haven’t. They were no doubt helped by WPP’s decision only to pitch for Asia (it is believed to have retained India) because of a conflict with Comcast, now the owner of the UK’s Sky and, like Disney, entering the streaming market.

As for Sadoun’s hope that this model is “future-proof” we’ll have to see. Not many things in agency land are these days.

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About Stephen Foster

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Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

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