In terms of client conflicts, there's a lot more Publicis and Omnicom have to contend with than whether the combined agency will drink Coke or Pepsi. A much deeper-seated conflict may rear its ugly head very soon. Though that ugly head may be more in the minds of the media and the pundits rather than the parties involved.
Publicis' Leo Burnett has worked with Philip Morris since 1954. Omnicon, through AMV, BBDO, DDB and OMD, has long-standing relationships with anti-smoking clients such as Tobacco Free Florida. That's a bit more serious than debating the merits of Coke versus Pepsi. Had this merger taken place, say, 20 years ago, we'd feel quite confident in saying either the pro-smoking effort or the anti-smoking effort would have to go. But with today's mealy-mouthed, anything-goes, devil-may-care attitudes regarding issues of morality, we'd venture to say neither camp is going to make much of a big deal over the issue. That and the fact Publicis Omnicom will be so big conflicts will, largely become irrelevant.
If you didn't work in the advertising industry and happened upon the LinkedIn profile Grey New York Group Creative Director Michael Collions, you might wonder about the profession's ego-maniacal sensibilities. After all, anyone who self-anoints themself a "creative tsar" must have some serious issues, right? And when you combine that with the fact that this particular creative walks around the office wearing salmon colored suits, smoking jackets, black leather disco boots and platform heels, you begin to wonder if the entire advertising industry isn't filled with John Travolta-esque Saturday Night Fever characters with egos the size of Donald Trump.
Crazy, right? Oh and that's not all. You'd also wonder about the management of the advertising business as well after you read a certain agency-wide email that ever so colorfully touts these oddities agency-wide with gleeful eloquence. Yes, the advertising industry is certainly a collection of interesting characters. And the industry can't help but scream that fact for all the world to hear. Which is about all they have left to do since they're all going to lose their jobs anyway.
In the less crazy but still odd category, San Antonio Spurs Center/Forward Matt Bonner swapped jobs Tuesday with TravisYork, president of GY&K Marketing in Manchester, NH. Bonner said he had a great time and only had to follow two ground rules; he couldn't fire anyone and he couldn't hand out any raises. York, on the other hand, had his work cut out with him doing a bit of off season training with Bonner's brother, Luke. York made just 20 of 100 "Spurs 100" shots and made nary a shot while playing one on one against Luke. So while the ad industry faces great challenges as the rules of marketing change, at least it’s having great fun along the way.