Sir Martin Sorrell has described the merger between Publicis and Omnicom as "an extremely bold move" as he sees his own company WPP overtaken as the world's largest advertising group network.
Following confirmation that the deal had been completed, with a co-CEO arrangement in place which will see Maurice Levy and John Wren lead the new entity for a period of 30-months before Levy steps back, Sorrell moved to respond.
He said: "It's an extremely bold, brave and surprising move. It's a great deal for Publicis, being a nil premium merger, and Maurice is to be congratulated. It does result in lower fast-growth market and lower digital proportions. Time will tell if the cultures will click and whether clients and talent benefit - and how $500m of synergies will be generated without job cuts. Co-CEOs is not an easy structure. Further consolidation in our industry was inevitable as we have said on many occasions. An equilibrium may be starting to be established, which will generate further significant opportunities for WPP organically."
During the press conference between the co-CEOs, held at Publicis' head office in Paris, Levy described Sorrell as "a very strong competitor" and added "he will remain a very strong competitior and we will respect WPP enormously. We do not define our strategy as to what he will think or what he will do - we define our strategy are to what is good for our clients and shareholders."