The week in brief

Publicis Group and Omnicom merger falls apart
Publicis and Omicom, two of the world’s biggest advertising firms, have called off ther proposed merger. The $35bn (£22.8bn) deal would have formed the world’s largest ad agency. It was claimed last July that the merger would enable the two giants to compete more effectively in the digital arena. Johnny Hornby, co-founder of CHI&Partners, says: “I don’t think anyone on either side ever articulated well why this merger was going to be a good thing for their people or their clients.”

Starcom wins £5m easyGroup media account
EasyProperty, the online estate agency from easyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou’s easyGroup, has appointed Starcom to handle its £5m media planning and buying account, Brand Republic reported last week. The agency said it would work with easyProperty’s creative agency, BLAC, on all campaigns that reflect the wider easyGroup’s brand values.

Unilever to premiumise personal care portfolio
Unilever’s president of personal care Dave Lewis has announced that his portfolio (which includes the brands Dove and Vaseline) will move in a new direction, centred around the idea that people “are beautiful, rather than made beautiful”.

MPs failing to “crack social media”
A cross-party group of MPs, including Yvette Cooper and Jenny Willott, have confessed political parties are “not great” at using the “important” communication tool. Speaking at a panel session unveiling Asda’s latest Mumdex report, the MPs admitted politicians are failing to connect with young voters via social media.

Ad of the week
John Lewis has released a new TV campaign, entitled “Never Standing Still,” to celebrate its 150th anniversary. Featuring the track, This Time Tomorrow by The Kinks, right, the ad was created by adam&eveDDB, and shows scenes from different decades in recent British history. It was first shown on Saturday during Britain’s Got Talent, and has also been launched on YouTube.