Ok, so two really big networks decide to stop wrestling with each other and become a tag team. Why, seems to be a common question with some commentators citing ego as the driving force behind the decision – and the desire to get one over Martin Sorrell.
I guess the answer is "because they can" and it probably makes sense in terms of some complimentary skill sets, geography and future investment in technology.
BUT (and is a big BUT) how does consolidation add value to their Clients' business?
[ Image Credit: Telegraph ]
Isn't consolidation about joining the best bits with the best bits?
It's not really clear at this stage what the outcome will be for the Clients as the message has been more around the deal and focusing on the two joint leaders 30 month plan to run the business. I suspect some sharing of insight into media deals will have identified some potential immediate savings – but will these be transferred to Clients? You would hope so. It might also be a tad awkward to publicly state what the "best bits" are, as de facto, it publicly states what the worst bits are too!
What might happen?
Well two big networks, now the biggest network, shave some percentage points off centralised costs, save some more from media / trading deals and focus on staying in the top spot. What gets passed back to the Client in value as the result of improved efficiency? Lower fees, improved creativity and technology? Well you would have thought if they had thought of needing to do this they would have delivered an outcome as a competitive advantage before joining forces. It just seems to demonstrate again that size counts in the networks thinking. So added value to Clients from the merger probably adds up to nothing.
At equimedia, a true independent, we will continue to focus on spending less to gain more value for our Clients' business. Our technology and skilled team already allows us to achieve this. We may be small by comparison but our campaign results speak for themselves – our target to outperform the big boys has probably just become better.