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Publicis, Omnicom say major clients welcome merger

Maurice Levy, French advertising group Publicis Chief executive, attends a Reuters Global Media and Technology Summit in Paris June 12, 2012
Maurice Levy, French advertising group Publicis Chief executive, attends a Reuters Global Media and Technology Summit in Paris June 12, 2012

PARIS (Reuters) - The chief executives of Publicis and Omnicom said they had spoken to major clients about their planned merger and did not anticipate major problems with big advertisers defecting to rivals in the transition period.

Publicis CEO Maurice Levy said the reaction to the merger from all the company's major clients had been "extremely positive".

Competing sector executives and analysts expect that the Publicis Omnicom merger could spur some big customers to switch agencies to avoid conflicts.

Holding companies such as Omnicom and Publicis own networks of agencies and PR firms within the larger group. They're designed to work independently so that competing clients - Pepsi and Coca-Cola for example - are placed in separate networks to avoid conflict.

"We're going to work extremely hard to resolve any client conflict issues with creative solutions," said John Wren, the Omnicom CEO.

(Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Leila Abboud)

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