Ad giants coaxed into cross-selling

NEW YORK: The major marketing-services holding companies are

encouraging their legions of newly acquired PR businesses to work more

with their fellow units.



Thomas Harrison, chairman and CEO of Omnicom's Diversified Agency

Services (DAS), has discussed a new financial incentive plan with

Omnicom CEO and president John Wren, and expects to formalize it

sometime next month. 'It's not focused on the CEOs and the presidents,

it's for the people who have the client relationships,' said

Harrison.



He said the move aimed to encourage synergies, and link units such as ad

agency DDB Worldwide with direct marketing firm Rapp Collins, and PR

firms Porter Novelli and Gavin Anderson. The idea is that people would

be rewarded for encouraging clients to work with other units of the

alliance.



Havas Advertising's Diversified Agencies Group (DAG) is also sounding

out its companies about the issue. It recently held its first

cross-selling meeting involving Abernathy MacGregor Group and Magnet

Communications to discuss financial incentives.



However Magnet Communications CEO Darryl Salerno said business worked

better without these incentives. 'We don't need them or want them. We

want to do what is right for the client.'



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