Renault has traditionally relied on Omnicom’s OMD for media and Publicis for creative, but now the French automotive giant plans to merge the agency teams into a new combined unit, whether they like it or not.

The as yet unbranded entity is expected to start operating from as early as October with staff from the two rival holding companies working together on the same briefs and to the same set of KPIs, although they will retain their own profit and loss statements (P&Ls).

It will be led by a chief operating officer from Renault, which also will bring in a 10-strong team of its own staff who will work with colleagues from OMD and Publicis to ensure that work is aligned, signed off and delivered.

The development was first reported by The Drum following an interview with Bastien Schupp, Renault’s VP for global brand strategy and marketing, who revealed that the company had been tempted to bring most of its ad business in-house but decided against doing this because it recognised agencies offer particular skills.

“We could get rid of most of our agencies and go in-house. But I don’t think that’s realistic. We’re a traditional car company and it’s not our core know-how,” he said.

“We wouldn’t hire the right people and even if we did I don’t think we would manage to keep them – over time we can’t offer them the career that marketing specialists need.”

Instead, The Drum reported, Renault is getting tough on its agencies by forcing this merger of their account media and creative teams.

“I don’t want to have to discuss with the creative and the media separately. I want one agency that brings content, media, data and the client around one table,” Schupp said.

“It will be much more focused on effectiveness. There’s a lot of wastage in this game, so we’re working on more transparency,” he added.

“In the past, when the creative agency didn’t have the same KPI as the media agency, there was always an excuse to do something different. Now we’re merging them and a large part of the KPIs will be joint objectives – which may sound obvious, but in big groups it’s not.”

Sourced from The Drum; additional content by WARC staff