OMD to Become Sixth Key Piece Of Omnicom Pie

Omnicom Group’s hiring of Procter & Gamble media maven Daryl Simm, and its pending acquisition of GGT, portends the expansion of the holding company’s Optimum Media Direction unit into the U.S. and Canada.
Omnicom, which would acquire Advanswers (the media buying arm of Wells BDDP) with its purchase of parent GGT, intends to build OMD into the sixth main component of the holding company, said chief executive officer John Wren.
OMD would join Omnicom’s three agency networks–BBDO Worldwide, TBWA International and DDB Needham Worldwide–as well as new media group Communicade and Diversified Agency Services, which houses a number of marketing services firms, as a key operating division of Omnicom.
“Media by itself will be a major business in the next several years and, following a consolidation, there will only be three or four major players worldwide. The creation of OMD and the addition of Daryl is indicative of Omnicom’s intention to be one of those players,” said Wren.
Simm, 36, said, “Particularly with the acquisition of GGT and Advanswers, we have the opportunity to look at how we use those assets that fall under a coordinated vision [in a way] that best services the clients.”
OMD currently operates in Europe and some Asian countries. Simm will become chief executive officer and president of OMD effective March 2. He will be responsible for the unit’s expansion, which should happen within two weeks, when Omnicom’s $235 million purchase of GGT is expected to close.
In North America, the division will immediately oversee Advanswers and Harrison, Young, Pesonen & Newell, a Canadian buying service Omnicom acquired in December, said Wren. Sources said Creative Media, currently part of DAS, will also fall under the aegis of OMD.
Wren added that “the bundled media capabilities of Omnicom agencies in the U.S. are not affected by Daryl’s appointment.”
–with Trevor Jensen