As PR Week predicted last week, the WPP and Y&R wedding is once
again back on, the mooted deal with Publicis having floundered on the
rocks of the Renault/Ford client conflict.
It always made more sense for Y&R to get hitched to WPP, and the deal
was unlikely to finally founder on Y&R’s need for autonomy, given Martin
Sorrell’s record for nurturing separate marketing services ’tribes’ (as
he likes to call them) within the group. Indeed Y&R’s minor fling
probably did far more for Publicis than it did for Y&R. The agency’s
options were always fairly limited by client constraints, and the dash
after Publicis and the public debate over client conflict did little to
enhance Y&R’s status. The link did, however, much to position Publicis
as a world class player. Publicis may not have clinched the deal, but it
is likely to be reaping the benefits of its brief courtship for some
time to come.