Anthony J. Pennings, PhD


The Meaning Makers: Omnicom Group

Posted on | June 27, 2012 | No Comments

Update: On July 28, 2013 it was announced that Publicis Groupe and Omnicom Group were merging to form Publicis Omnicom Group.

Meaning-making in our media-saturated world through advertising and public relations has traditionally has been dominated by several major holding companies that each in turn owns a large number of individual of advertising, design, public relations and media companies. These include the Omnicom Group and Interpublic both headquartered in New York as well as WPP in London and Publicis of Paris. Here I’m going to first talk about Omnicom.

The Omnicom Group consists of three major advertising “brands”, BBDO Worldwide, DDB Worldwide, and TBWA\Worldwide; three major public relations firms, Fleishman-Hillard, Ketchum, and Porter Novelli. Marketing services are coordinated through Diversified Agency Services (DAS), a division of Omnicom Group Inc with more than 190 companies operating internationally and locally. This includes customer relationship management (CRM) and B2B advertising services, public relations, as well as specialty communications operating fields such as financial, healthcare, recruitment, multicultural marketing. The Omnicom Group also includes media services companies such as OMD, PHD, and Prometheus. Specialized services include Icon International, a leading asset barter company, Novus, OMG Outdoor Media Group, and Resolution Media.

Omnicom’s use of IBM Cognos Business Analytics is discussed in this video. The IBM system is being used to coordinate their global network of holding companies.

Omnicon is involved in PR for nations, such as Ketchum’s work with Russia to develop briefing points for interviews; press releases, fact sheets, etc. Omnicom companies have also promoted their oil companies and facilitated meetings between representatives of Russia’s government officials and international “experts’ who are often interviewed in the media. Of particular interest to the Russian government has guidance for their acceptance into the World Trade Organization (WTO), a mission accomplished in December of 2011.


Anthony J. Pennings, PhD has been on the NYU faculty since 2001 teaching digital media, information systems management, and global e-commerce. He is currently a visiting professor at Hannam University in South Korea.



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    Professor at State University of New York (SUNY) Korea since 2016. Moved to Austin, Texas in August 2012 to join the Digital Media Management program at St. Edwards University. Spent the previous decade on the faculty at New York University teaching and researching information systems, digital economics, and strategic communications.

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