Omnicom: An Empire Of Happy Fiefdoms

Its hands-off way with its ad businesses is paying off

Curiously, the man who runs the world's largest advertising network is shy about taking the spotlight. There are no photos of John D. Wren--or any other executives--in the annual report for Omnicom Group Inc. After almost four years at the helm, Wren has yet to address such prestigious gatherings as the annual meeting of the American Association of Advertising Agencies. They have asked, and he has turned them down. "We don't promote Omnicom," he says. "We promote our brands." Even when Wren's eyes dart to a TV screen in his office, it's not to critique an ad, such as the funky "Whassup?" spots that DDB Worldwide, an Omnicom agency, created for Budweiser. Rather, Wren has been distracted by the Omnicom stock price flashing across the screen.

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