A deal that would have created the world's largest advertising agency was driven by ego and emotion, British advertising firm WPP told CNBC following the collapse of a $35 billion planned merger between rivals Omnicom and Publicis.
U.S.-based Omnicom and France's Publicis said in a statement late Thursday that they have called off merger talks due to challenges that were insurmountable. In late April, Omnicom CEO John Wren expressed doubts about the deal, citing tax complications.
"There were big tax issues we were told and also a lot of what is called social issues," said WPP boss Martin Sorrell, speaking to CNBC from China – WPP's third largest market. "It was turning into a bit of a soap opera because both companies in their Q1 statements were saying they were good on their own."
"I think this deal was driven by ego issues and emotional issues, I think both CEOs wanted to try and dislodge WPP from its number one perch and so it was emotional and egotistical. It was also a case of eyes being bigger than your tummy," he added.