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Biggest ad firm will promote major brands client list

Two of the world's biggest advertising groups are joining forces to create a $35bn (£23bn) giant responsible for promoting brands including Adidas, Guinness, Starbucks and Doritos.

The merger of US based Omnicom and French firm Publicis will combine marketing and advertising agencies including Saatchi & Saatchi, in the world's biggest advertising group

The world's biggest advertising group will have a list of major well-known clients Credit: Press Association

It will be called Publicis Omnicom and employ more than 130,000 staff based in New York and Paris

The deal has been backed by both boards, and will lead to cost cuts of 500 million US dollars (£325 million).

Merger creates world's biggest advertising firm

US company Omnicom and French firm Publicis say they are combining in a "merger of equals" that will create the world's largest advertising firm with a value of more than $30 billion (£20bn).

Maurice Levy will be join CEO of the combined company Credit: REUTERS/Mal Langsdon

The combined company will be called Publicis Omnicom Group and be jointly led by Omnicom CEO John Wren and Publicis CEO Maurice Levy as co-chief executives.

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American Apparel advert banned

American Apparel has been criticised by the advertising watchdog for an advert which "appeared to sexualise a child".

The advert has been deemed offensive Credit: Katie Collins/PA Archive

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld two complaints about the advert, which appeared on the back cover of Vice Magazine.

It pictured a girl sitting on an office chair wearing a jumper, knickers and knee-length socks. She was posed with her legs up on the chair and her knickers were visible.

The latest ruling comes a week after the clothing brand fell foul of the ASA with campaigns featuring "gratuitous" images and the sexualisation of models who appeared to be under 16. American Apparel ran into similar issues with campaigns in 2009 and earlier this year.

The people who complained about the advert on the back of Vice Magazine objected that it was offensive and irresponsible.

Government backs parenting groups recommendations

"Reg Bailey's recommendations have already prompted swift action from industry and regulators. Setting up the Parent Port website is just one of the steps they have taken. We want parents to use the website to give feedback, make complaints and learn more about media regulation, online safety and other aspects of the commercial world, like retailing, that have an impact on children."

– A Department for Education spokesman

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ASA welcomes recommendations by parenting groups

The work that regulators, including the ASA, continue to undertake in responding positively to the recommendations in the Bailey review (Letting Children Be Children) has been welcomed by government as well as family and parenting groups. ParentPort is a valued resource amongst parents but raising awareness is an ongoing process. We'd be delighted if CIM and its members would like to support ParentPort with their expertise and resources.

– Advertising Standards Authority

CIM: 'The marketing profession needs to address' child advertising concerns

The survey comes a year after the report by Mothers' Union chief executive Reg Bailey, entitled Letting Children Be Children, which called on businesses and broadcasters to play their part in protecting young people from the "increasingly sexualised wallpaper surrounding them".

The CIM is calling on the Government to work directly with the marketing industry to "deal with these pressing issues once and for all".

David Thorp, director of CIM research, said:

"It's clear that parents still have very real concerns about the way some companies try to sell to children. The marketing profession needs to address these concerns but we also want a dialogue between parents, the Government and industry bodies to ensure that our solutions are lasting and effective.