Demonstrating just how significant a development the merger of Publicis and Omnicom is for the overall media industry, it was the lead question posed by analysts during Nielsen’s second quarter earnings call this morning.
“It’s a good question, and of course we are looking hard at it,” responded Nielsen chief David Calhoun, adding, “It’s hard to find any negative impacts for us.”
If anything, he said, it likely is a positive for Nielsen, given the public stance Publicis and Omnicom have taken on the role data played in their decision to merge, and in the future of the ad business.
“Largely, the work they want to do with respect to data, is a complement for what we do,” Calhoun predicted, adding that if Publicom can “pour more resources” into data, then, “It’s not really a bad outcome for us.”
He sidestepped the obvious negotiating leverage implications of the consolidation, asserting, “There’s nothing with respect to our revenue or contractual stuff that is a negative for us. Net-net, I view it as a plus.”
Lastly, Calhoun said he agreed with “all of the environmental reasons” Publicis chief Maurice Levy and Omnicom chief John Wren cited for doing the merger, including the increasing role of “big data,” and the increasing power of big digital media companies.