May, 2021

Chris Sahota, Ciesco CEO, comments for the Business Insider

Six ad holding companies — WPP, Omnicom, Publicis, IPG, Dentsu, and Havas — have long dominated ad spending but now face challenges from all sides.

Chris Sahota, CEO of M&A advisory firm Ciesco and former IPG exec, said holding companies had an advantage with big advertisers because they had the scale to produce and buy ads at large volume. But the rise of Facebook, Google and Amazon let agencies run campaigns with lean operations, diluting the holding companies’ power.

The pandemic accelerated this trend as advertisers cut spending.

New ad agencies and networks have emerged in recent years to take on the big names.