@ UBS Media Week: Omnicom’s Wren: M&A Frenzy Starting To Cool – Meaning It’s A Better Time To Buy


Omnicom CEO John Wren feels right about sitting out the current interactive digital M&A frenzy until prices become more in line with reality. Even then, Wren told attendees at the UBS Global Media & Communications Conference not to expect a spending spree from the company. Wren is still concentrating on ones that were bought into the fold years ago. The company has been concentrating on transforming Agency.com from a shop that concentrates on digital creative to one that’s known more for strategic planning. Secondly, the company is still deciding whether to move its Tequila Interactive subsidiary out from under the umbrella of traditional creative shop TBWA/Chiat/Day and make more of a stand-alone entity. I spoke to Wren about these two issues after his presentation, and he said, “We’ve made significant progress [with Agency.com] and we continue to chart its evolution. As for Tequila, nothing at Omnicom is stand alone, but everything is a separate brand. And its identity continues to develop as well.”

For Omnicom, acquisitions are “not nearly as big a piece of the business as they were five or six years ago. Having said that, we have the capability today and we’re constantly in the marketplace, looking for an extension for our growth and our geographies.” He expects that the digital M&A frenzy will start to cool in 2008. “One of the benefits of all the volatility is pricing, for the first time in five years, is starting to leave the stratosphere. So I think there are greater opportunities, because people’s expectations are becoming more reasonable as we move forward. A lot of the free money, silly money, has evaporated.”

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