Omnicom Beats Omnicom, Omnicom, And Omnicom

The Jeep account, previously held at an Omnicom agency, is now moving to a new Omnicom agency, after a pitch that involved other Omnicom agencies.
Adweek clears it all up:

Omnicom Group’s Cutwater has won creative duties on Jeep, the client confirmed.
Cutwater, the newly launched San Francisco agency led by former TBWA\Chiat\Day creative executive Chuck McBride, beat out other Omnicom shops such as Element 79 in Chicago, Martin/Williams in Minneapolis, BBDO and Downtown Partners in Toronto.

I’m an Omnicom shareholder. Not a big one, of course, but I think I’m entitled to an answer as to how much money was wasted on this nonsensical review. I happen to think Omnicom is the one of the better managed holding companies, and it’s perfectly fine to move things around the network, but to call a review where everyone pulls out their dog and pony show is a waste and wholly unnecessary. I thought IPG had the market cornered on this type of idiocy.

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. Then you’re an idiot. Sorry dude, but it’s not like Omnicom execs sat around and said, “Hey Jeep, throw a review!” Jeep was pissed, and Omnicom brilliantly convinced them to keep it within their holding company. How is that dumb?
    With strictly your agencies entered in this shootout, rather than the typical IPG-WPP-Publicis free for all, how can they lose?
    They have a history of keeping pitches withing their agencies, and as a shareholder, that should make you thrilled.

  2. PS – I just read that PDF, and I don’t think it’s an apples-to-apples comparison. Three IPG agencies made the finals in a review. Not the review was limited to Omnicom agencies. Regardless, there’s a flawed logic at work: IPG (in that case) was increasing its odds of one of its agencies winning the business. It just so happened that the three finalists were IPG’s agencies. Could’ve gone a completely different way. But at the end of the pitch, IPG stood to win the business, no matter which agency one. So in that regard, it makes sense. Not the most efficient scenario, but better than the Wal-Mart fiasco was for them.

  3. The point is not that the two cases are similar. The point is that this is a waste of resources. At the end of the day, IPG is one company. Omnicom is one company. That they pit divisions of their company against other, or allow divisions of their company to independently compete against each other, is a waste of money. Assuming, as I do, that these agencies all conduct their own research, do spec creative, prepare elaborate presenations, etc, independent of one another.
    Then throw in the amount of time and money spent to recruit staff, train staff, move staff, and even lay off staff when an account moves from one agency to another, and you’ve got more money wasted. Because those are all services that holding agency companies do separately.
    We’re living in a time when all of corporate America is squeezing every last dime to reduce costs. So when I read about IPG or Omnicom pitting its agencies against each other, it doesn’t make one bit of sense to me.
    Off the top of my head, I can’t name other businesses that operate this way. But like you said, I’m an idiot.

  4. I don’t disagree with your points, however, as I said, it’s not apples-to-apples.
    Jeep was displeased with their Omnicom agency. Omnicom, rather than let them open it up to their competitors’ agencies, said, “Well, we’ve got some other guys who’ll take a stab at it.” And they kept it within Omnicom.
    Wasteful? Yes. But at least they wasted money to keep the business rather than lose it and waste even more.
    I will wholeheartedly agree holding companies fuck up tons of things. I just think Omnicom’s the one that gets it right 99% of the time, which is the opposite of their competitors.
    As for the idiot comment, hasty on my part. However, look at it this way: you’d be way, way more pissed if they lost a $360 mil piece of business to some independent shop.

  5. DerSenator says:

    Yes, it was certainly a good thing for Omnicom shareholders (not to mention John Wren) that the business moved to a sister shop. Unfortunately, it could have all possibly been avoided had Wren supported his boys in Detroit several years back, rather than offering up the various New York/LA/SF/wherever solutions that made the pathetically insecure Chrysler clients go all starry-eyed. Not to mention the massive dustup that happened when Wren allowed BBDO New York to pitch the Mitsubishi business, a move that enraged the then-Chrysler head of marketing. That, as much as anything, opened the Pandora’s Box that led to BBDO Detroit losing the account that for many years was the gold standard for automotive advertising anywhere in the world. A sad story, really. And even sadder that Boy Genius Dave Lubars will still have his job in six months, when a host of people at BBDO Detroit probably won’t.

  6. If I were an Omnicom shareholder, I’d say kudos for keeping it the family. It might look like a waste of resources, but I highly doubt the alternative was to have BBDO keep on keeping on – they would have turned outside, gone to Fallon, gone to McKinney, gone somewhere else. Instead, at least some of it stays in Detroit – along with some of the jobs.

  7. It really goes to show the insanity of holding companies. While the global Omnicom might have “retained” the account, it’s still pretty likely that people at the Omnicom shop that lost the business will be fired. Seems like the only winners are Omnicom shareholders and the Board of Directors.

  8. The whole point of this post was from the point of view of an Omnicom shareholder.
    They’re still by far the best of a bad thing that happened to the industry. By far.

  9. That’s true, but I’m not just an Omnicom shareholder–I’m an ex-Omnicom employee & an industry observer. And while the stock is doing nicely and I think they’re fairly well-managed, holding companies on the whole have insane business models.

  10. On that last comment, you and I can agree, my friend. 100%.