Financial Crisis Becomes An Ad Crisis

I’ve always said that mergers and acquisitions only benefit the people who make the merger happen. Everyone else gets screwed.
Adweek this week takes an even closer look at the newest consolidations taking place on Wall Street, which will bite some ad agencies in the butt:

Banking failures and buyouts involving Washington Mutual and Wachovia sparked wildly volatile developments involving five ad agencies and nearly $300 million in combined ad expenditures.
Last Monday, JPMorgan Chase stopped an old-fashioned run on Washington Mutual with a takeover. Almost immediately, the reskinning of the latter’s Web site began (branches are to follow with new signage), signaling the beginning of the end of a WaMu rebranding effort began just months ago by Omnicom Group’s TBWA\Chiat\Day, Playa del Rey, Calif., the bank’s agency of scarcely a year.
TBWA\C\D faces the prospect of losing the entire account practically overnight. The business, worth $135 million, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus, would presumably be picked up by Chase’s lead agency, independent mcgarrybowen in New York.

I have a queasy feeling about the next 12 months, econonically speaking, and for the ad biz, too. Our industry generally lags a few months behind major economic happenings, but we feel it. What do you think?

About Dan Goldgeier

Blogging on AdPulp since 2005, Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. In addition, he is a regular columnist for Dan published the best of his columns in a book entitled View From The Cheap Seats: A Broader Look at Advertising, Marketing, Branding, Global Politics, Office Politics, Sexual Politics, and Getting Drunk During a Job Interview. Look for it on Amazon in paperback and e-book editions.


  1. I think it depends on what kind of agency you are, what clients you have, and where you’re located.
    During the ad recession earlier this decade, I remember alot of small and/or specialized agencies got a boost from big clients giving them individual projects based on their proven expertise.
    Challenges are an initiator to growth and evolution. We always rise from our own ashes in a changed form.