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11 Lessons Publicis & Omnicom Could Learn From Game of Thrones


LBB’s Laura Swinton on how adland is starting to resemble Westeros

11 Lessons Publicis & Omnicom Could Learn From Game of Thrones

By far the most talked-about subject in adland this week – apart from the Solange and Jay-Z elevator kerfuffle, natch – has, of course, been the shock breakdown of the Publicis Omnicom deal. I say shock, but of course there have been rumblings around the industry for some time that the merger wasn’t going particularly smoothly. Still, it wasn’t how I expected to wake up on Friday morning. With all of the twists and turns, surprising alliances, skullduggery and whispers it was as if adland had transformed into Game of Thrones overnight. And then I realised, actually, it’s always kinda been this way. Cue several well-spent hours pondering which holding company is a secret Lannister, which lucky industry superstar gets to be Daenerys (a.k.a Dragon Lady) and if there are any useful parallels with what happened to poor old Theon Greyjoy. And then it occurred to me. If anything, George R.R. Martin’s epic series might be the best how-to business guide going.

1. Be careful who you make alliances with and try not to piss people off in the process. That’s how Red Weddings happen.

See? Not pretty.

2. And if you do insist on plunging into a colossal, industry-changing merger, perhaps it’s best to take a leaf out of Ned Stark’s Bumper Book of Life Philosophies.

3. Even if your new deal seems like a brilliant idea, watch your back and remember you’re not the only playa in the game.

4. Everyone else be quite happy to exploit the situation ruthlessly.

Word on the street that rival networks and independent agencies have done quite well, poaching unsettled clients.

5. If you want to drop two bombshells on your people within eight and a half months later, don’t be surprised if there’s a lot of confusion around.

6. And be prepared for a lot of groundless speculation from people who can’t possibly know what really went down.

7. If your proposed mega-deal is set to shunt the top dogs into second place, don’t be surprised if said Top Dog treats himself to a celebratory round of I-told-you-so interviews.

8. And be prepared for the indie agencies to use the situation to their advantage.

9. Some people just won’t be able to help themselves rubbing it in. 

10.So try and deflect everyone's attention.

11.Or just style it out. Another drama will crop up and distract everyone soon enough… 

… like dragons!

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LBB Editorial, Wed, 14 May 2014 16:35:14 GMT