Tired of being left behind smaller ad holding company rivals in making digital acquisitions, Omnicom Group is forming a division that will look for digital acquisitions, the WSJ reports. The new unit, called Omnicom Digital, will be headed by Jonathan Nelson, who is now a special adviser to CEO John Wren.
Omnicom Digital will oversee some in-house digital companies within Omnicom, such as its analytics business. Over the past three years, the bulk of the digital acquisitions done by traditional ad shops has mainly been a two-man race between WPP Group and Publicis Groupe, while Omnicom and Interpublic have been more low key. At conferences during the most active period of ad industry M&As, Wren has often said that Omnicom was going to be more aggressive. So far it hasn’t, and this move is designed to change that.