COMMENT: Editorial; The start of a beautiful relationship

Barring unforeseen circumstances, Scope Ketchum looks like a winner. Six weeks ago in this column we cautiously greeted the news that agency mergers - the fad of the 1980s - were back on the agenda, but warned that history showed that such deals only work where cultures and client lists are complementary, and where both agencies share common strategic goals.

Barring unforeseen circumstances, Scope Ketchum looks like a winner. Six

weeks ago in this column we cautiously greeted the news that agency

mergers - the fad of the 1980s - were back on the agenda, but warned

that history showed that such deals only work where cultures and client

lists are complementary, and where both agencies share common strategic

goals.



On paper, this deal looks good. Ketchum strengthens its UK presence,

bolstering its consumer capability, and adding design and sponsorship.

Scope picks up hi-tech and healthcare, and gains an international

dimension. The deal also gives the agency critical mass - propelling it,

on the basis of this year’s rankings, well into the top 20. The neatness

of the fit is further evidenced by the fact that no redundancies and

almost no departures are anticipated.



The only remaining question mark is whether the cultures will mesh in

practice. Again the signs are good - with both sides endowed with level-

headed management. Moreover, their parent, Omnicom, has a fine record

for allowing agencies to determine their own future while, at the same

time, investing in their potential for growth.



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