Publicis Groupe SA and Omnicom Group are a pair of major marketing companies that are on the brink of merging, a move that will form the largest advertising company on the planet. Naturally, this effects the automotive world, as the two companies count a number of ad houses that service the industry under their respective umbrellas, including BBDO Worldwide, Goodby Silverstein and Partners and Saatchi & Saatchi.

According to a report on Automotive News, the pending merger will bring a number of brands' advertising efforts under one very large roof, and could lead to a shakeup in how auto marketing functions. With Chevrolet, Cadillac, Toyota, Lexus, Nissan and Mercedes-Benz all run by the same group of agencies, the potential for conflicts of interest is obvious.

What this means in the short term isn't entirely clear. As AN states, one agency managing multiple auto clients isn't unheard of. It's merely the scale of the Publicis/Omnicom merger that has people concerned. In the long term, the joining could lead to some realignment, although Ian Beavis, executive vice president of the Nielsen Company's global automotive group, told AN, "I wouldn't expect any wholesale changes," as any movement is, "going to take a while."

Still, the deal hasn't received approval from regulators. According to Automotive News, if the deal is given the go-ahead, the agency would have a combined revenue of $22.7 billion in 2012.


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