Michael Roth: If It Were Up to Martin Sorrell, There Would be One Holding Company

So Dentsu would like to make it known that it's not looking to make acquisitions in the digital space. Hmm. Of the mindset, Dentsu Aegis Network Chairman Tim Andree, speaking at the annual Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecoms Conference in Barcelona, said: "Acquisitions are not a strategy in and of themselves. They need to back up our goal and complement where we are already present." Well, duh. Although that doesn't mean we won't see big acquisition plays in the next year or so, according to Martin Sorrell -- who at the same conference said he expected to see further consolidation that would likely involve Havas and Interpublic. "In the agency space, I think you will see consolidation as well," Sorrell said. "I doubt that in a few years' time the situation will be as it is today." Of Sorrell's comments, Interpublic CEO Michael Roth joked: "If it was up to Martin, then there would be one holding company."

Back in July, Canadian-based Cossette ad agency put itself up for sale, saying it “has decided to explore strategic alternatives for the company’s North American assets.” Now the agency is in talks with Beijing-based BlueFocus Communications Group, which may result in the Chinese firm acquiring the agency's assets from parent firm, Quebec-based Vision7 International. Looking to grow their international footprint, BlueFocus wants "to become a global holding group in the spirit of Dentsu and WPP," according to Greg Paull, principal at investment consultancy R3 Worldwide. Recent BlueFocus acquisitions include London-based social media firm We Are Social and a stake in London-based PR firm Huntsworth.

Does one make a trend? Apparently so, according to San Francisco Business Times Digital Producer Marlize van Romburgh, who penned a piece entitled "SF ad agency's move to Oakland marks creative migration to East Bay."  She's referring to the decision of San Francisco-based EVB to uproot and move to Oakland in early 2015. Of the move, EVB Founder and President Daniel Stein, who lives in East Bay, said, "I'm a little closer to having a front-row seat to seeing downtown and Uptown grow. Every time I go, it's like 'Wow, there's another new restaurant or another building being renovated.' It got to the point where it was impossible to ignore. This area is really going to be booming soon. We had an opportunity to get in on the early side and pick a location right in the middle of it all." And while Stein notes there are cost benefits that come with a move to Oakland, we all know that it's yet another attempt by an agency to grab a little bit of "cool" before everyone else does.

In a thinly veiled attempt to garner new business for his company, Chairman and CEO Charles Meyst issued a press release in which he said, "In a slowly recovering economy like what we're experiencing today, it's easy for businesses to put off key marketing decisions like finding and hiring a new marketing services agency. The problem with that is that putting off an agency search in the last quarter of the year could delay the start of your marketing efforts for the coming year -- and you will have set yourself up for failure." He says agencies need a solution that can create successful pairings between marketers and agencies, adding, "That may sound too good to be true. Until you realize that we've [here comes the not so thinly veiled sales pitch] built a deep database of more than 7,500 world-wide agency offices over the past seventeen years that allows us to do just that.



Next story loading loading..