$60 Mil. HBO Media Moves to PHD

NEW YORK Pay cable network HBO has awarded media planning and buying duties to PHD here without a review, the client has confirmed. The incumbent agency was OMD. Both media shops are units of Omnicom Group.

HBO, also here, spent $60 million on ads in 2005, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

The HBO shift is the second account gain for PHD in as many weeks, following its addition of $15 million in media chores from watchmaker Timex [Adweek Online, March 15].

It’s been a tough first quarter for OMD. Before the HBO shift, it lost ABC TV in January, with annual ad spending of roughly $100 million per Nielsen, and then lost gum maker Wrigley, which spends about $200 million a year on ads.

In February, OMD lost media duties for satellite operator DirecTV (with ad spending of about $120 million) when the client shifted both creative and media chores to Interpublic Group’s Deutsch.

An HBO representative confirmed the switch to PHD, but declined to comment on the motivations. PHD will now handle all buying and planning for HBO, with the exception of outdoor efforts, which stay with a separate Omnicom company, Outdoor Media Group.