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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, Accenture Interactive, and Interpublic Group of Companies are the top advertising agency 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, Wunderman Thompson, and Young & Rubicam, in addition to numerous media groups. It has more than 109,000 employees working in 3,000 offices in 112 countries.

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