The top four holding companies have evolved enormously in the past four decades, from simple (but growth-obsessed) financial owners of agencies to integrated operating companies. At the integrated extremes today are WPP (a "creative transformation company")and Publicis Groupe (a "connected age platform company"), while Omnicom ("an interconnected global network of leading marketing communications companies") and IPG ("we support and invest in our brands") remain solidly agency centric. All of them, though, have invested in holding company headcounts and organization, and each of them face the same strategic problems: commodity pricing for their services, excessive client churn, bloated Scopes of Work, depressed salaries for their people, "overburn" working conditions, talent gaps and growth ambitions that outstrip industry realities. Fiscal year 2022 will put many of them to the test.
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