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Advertising merger called off

The proposed $35bn merger between US-based Omnicom and French rival Publicis has been called off “as the challenges in forming the world’s largest advertising agency proved too immense for the partners”, the Guardian reports.

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The deal foundered on issues ranging from its complex tax structure to the firms’ divergent cultures.

John Wren, Omnicom chief executive, is quoted in the Guardian as saying: “There was no one factor”.

The two firms had justified the merger as “a way to provide scale and capital to cope with technological forces wrenching the advertising business”.