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Is Accenture Song eyeing a deal for Omnicom’s creative agencies?

Cannes Lions is supposed to trigger deals – or put the seal on them at the Eden Roc – and an enticing thought to surface from France (a touch belatedly) is Accenture Song buying some or even all of US rival Omnicom’s creative agencies.

Accenture Song (formerly Accenture Interactive) is a collection of tech-based agencies, headlined by Droga5. It also includes the former Karmarama in the UK and The Monkeys in Australia although such agencies are by no means the biggest part. And Accenture Song is big, with revenues of $18bn which puts it on a par with WPP and ahead of Publicis (Accenture’s total revenue is around $70bn.)

Omnicom has long been built on its stellar line-up of global creative networks: BBDO, DDB and TBWA. Latterly though its emphasis has been on media and tech. Last year it bought commerce and retail media specialist Flywheel from Cannes Lions owner Ascential for $835m, its biggest acquisition.

Omnicom is still helmed by John Wren who, more than a decade ago, agreed a merger deal with Maurice Levy’s Publicis that would have created the world’s biggest marcoms company. This foundered for pretty obvious cultural reasons (much to the delight of then WPP boss Sir Martin Sorrell) but it indicates that Wren, whose long tenure at Omnicom may be nearing a close, is not averse to transformational deals.

None of the ad holding companies are making the money out of creative they used to. Back in 1990 Sorrell’s WPP thought Y&R (now disappeared into VML) was worth $4.4bn. That’s nearly half today’s valuation of the whole of WPP.

David Droga (above), now fortified by consigliere Annette King from Publicis and before that Ogilvy, clearly thinks Accenture Song’s tech, consultancy and financial resources can propel it to clear first place in the global creative stakes. Accenture has steered clear of media agencies as it has too much media consultancy business.

Even one of Omnicom’s creative networks would be a major statement (DDB now helmed by the UK’s adam&eveDDB may be the most likely.) All of them would be a shape-shifting exercise.

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