The Not-So-Jolly Advertising Giants

Clients are tearing themselves away from the mega-agencies

The fanfare on Madison Avenue was deafening last spring when the two largest advertising mergers in history were announced within two weeks of each other. The power of the newly created superagencies and the vast riches that changed hands in the transactions stunned the ad industry for weeks. The first jolt was the three-way agreement in April to merge the sixth largest U.S. agency, BBDO International, with Doyle Dane Bernbach Group (No. 12) and Needham Harper Worldwide (No. 16). Their combined annual billings of $5 billion made the new agency, now called Omnicom Group, the world's biggest -- for a moment...

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