Omnicom, a leading advertising company, has entered into a strategic collaboration with Google Cloud, marking another milestone in their longstanding partnership. This collaboration aims to enhance content development and creativity by leveraging Google’s advanced technology. Omnicom will gain access to Google Cloud’s Vertex AI platform, which includes foundation models like PaLM 2 and Imagen.

These models will be integrated into Omnicom’s open operating system, Omni, enabling agency and client teams to accelerate the content development process for marketing campaigns.

How Will Omnicom Integrate Google’s Tech?

According to Omnicom’s statement, the collaboration introduces Google Cloud’s Imagen, a text-to-image model that enables organizations to generate and customize high-quality images at scale from input text.

By integrating Google Cloud Imagen into Omni, over 17,000 trained and certified users at Omnicom will have the ability to create customized images, leveraging Omni’s audience intelligence and campaign workflow capabilities.

This integration is expected to revolutionize content creation and deliver enhanced results for Omnicom’s clients.

Jonathan Nelson, CEO of Omnicom Digital, expressed his excitement about the collaboration, stating:

“By creating Omni as an open operating system, we’re able to quickly integrate these innovative models and mobilize them to thousands of Omnicom employees that use Omni. We’re especially excited to see how Imagen will unlock greater inspiration for our people and elevate the ideas created for clients.”

June Yang, Vice President of Cloud AI and Industry Solutions at Google Cloud, emphasized the company’s commitment to democratizing access to their foundation models, enabling marketers to create studio-grade images with ease. Yang stated:

“Our partnership with Omnicom deepens this commitment as it allows marketers to create studio-grade images with mask-free editing for any business need, in a platform where they are already familiar, with only a few typing prompts. We cannot wait to see what they create!”

Google Helps Out a Massive Ad Company While It’s Ad Business Comes Under Fire

While Omnicom and Google Cloud collaborate to enhance advertising technology, concerns about Google’s dominance in the ad tech sector have caught the attention of antitrust regulators. The European Commission and the US Department of Justice (DOJ) are both examining the possibility of a breakup of Google’s integrated ad tech system, considering it a necessary step to address alleged monopoly abuses.

According to Bloomberg reports, the EU’s antitrust commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, recently accused Google of favoring its own services over competitors, advertisers, and online publishers. Vestager stated

“Divestiture is the only way,” as she presented a charge sheet against Google, which adds to the penalties already imposed on the tech giant for other antitrust violations.

Similarly, the DOJ filed a lawsuit earlier this year calling for a potential breakup of Google, accusing the company of engaging in anticompetitive conduct for over 15 years. The DOJ alleges that Google’s dominance in advertising technology allows it to retain a significant portion of advertisers’ spending.

How Google’s Digital Ad System Works

Source: Justice Department Jan. 24, 2022 Antitrust complaint against Google


In its statement, the DOJ said:

“Google now controls the digital tool that nearly every major website publisher uses to sell ads on their websites (publisher ad server); it controls the dominant advertiser tool that helps millions of large and small advertisers buy ad inventory (advertiser ad network); and it controls the largest advertising exchange (ad exchange), a technology that runs real-time auctions to match buyers and sellers of online advertising.”

Both the EU and the DOJ are concerned about Google’s market dominance and its impact on fair competition. The EU complaint focuses on Google’s alleged abuse of access to information on rival bids for ad space and its self-preferencing behavior.

The EU argues that Google’s involvement on both ends of the market, coupled with its position in the largest ad exchange, creates inherent conflicts of interest.

The EU’s suggested option for a potential breakup involves separating Google’s ad-purchasing platforms from its advertising marketplace. The DOJ, under the leadership of Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter, is also exploring the possibility of breaking up Google’s ad tech services.

Source: European Commission

While the investigations and discussions surrounding Google’s ad tech dominance continue, the potential breakup of the integrated system within Omnicom raises questions about the future of the advertising industry and the balance of power among ad tech providers. The outcomes of these inquiries and the subsequent legal processes could have significant implications for the industry as a whole.

As regulators intensify their scrutiny of tech giants, the collaboration between Omnicom and Google Cloud highlights the growing importance of advanced technologies in the advertising sector. By integrating Google’s AI models into its system, Omnicom aims to enhance content development and deliver better results for its clients. However, the discussions on potential antitrust actions against Google underscore the need for a fair and competitive advertising landscape.

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