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
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.