Watching Nick Grouf create and place a customized TV spot in just minutes was the set up for a panel led by Joe Mandese about whether agencies are relevant any more. (Joe calls it robo-media, allowing
things to happen fast without a lot of human intervention.) Tim Hanlon of Publicis Groupe's Denuo had some good thoughts on that question and the holding company model: Can we get out of our own
way and train ourselves to be more nimble and less navel gazing? If we don't, marketers who hire us will absolutely find other people to get their stuff. Holding companies are scrambling to become
search engine experts and there are many scrambling to be bought. You could argue that Publicis' purchase of Digitas should have happened four years ago. Just acquiring talent is not enough.
Integration and making it work needs to radically change and it can't happen quick enough or clients will see right through it. IPG's Bant Breen agreed: The acquisition is the easy part. But tying
it all together requires holding company involvement, perhaps a different kind of holding company.