Heavy- Duty Mergers

Ad agencies join forces to form global giants

In promoting breakfast cereal and laundry detergent, advertising agencies often trumpet the message that giant size is the best size. Now they are embracing the bigger-is-better philosophy for themselves. Merger mania is turning Madison Avenue agencies into megashops with clients in almost every business and bases in every major world market. In the past month alone, three huge mergers involving billions of dollars in advertising have made headlines.

The latest new, improved giant-size deal, which was unveiled last week, will join BBDO International, the sixth-largest U.S. agency, with Doyle Dane Bernbach Group (No. 12) and Needham Harper Worldwide (No. 16). Combining...

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