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To understand how the advertising industry is structured, imagine a pyramid. At the top is a small group of large holding companies that own and control a variety of advertising brands around the world. Holding companies aren’t engaged in the daily tasks of advertising and marketing work. They instead work closely with the advertising brands’ board of directors to develop strategy and build effective intra-group relationships. WPP Group, Omnicom Group, Publicis Groupe, Interpublic Group of Companies, and Dentsu are the top international holding companies. An example of the size and scope of these holding companies: WPP owns about 400 advertising companies, including national advertising agencies such as Grey, Ogilvy & Mather, J. Walter Thompson, and Young & Rubicam, in addition to numerous media groups. It has more than 130,000 employees working in 3,000 offices in 112 countries.

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