Omnicom Media Group’s New Network Will Focus on Data-Driven Marketing

P&G business is Hearts & Science's flagship client

Annalect founder Scott Hagedorn will serve as the network's CEO. Omnicom Media Group

Four months after winning the $2 billion P&G North America media review, Omnicom Media Group today unveiled its third media network. The new organization will be called Hearts & Science, and P&G will be its inaugural client. Sources close to the matter clarified it will not be a single-account "dedicated" unit and that it will look to expand its roster in the future.

"With the addition of Hearts & Science, Omnicom Media Group has three distinct agency brands, all focused on driving client business results," said Omnicom Media Group CEO Daryl Simm, adding, "OMD is the world's largest and most creatively awarded media agency. PHD is the global leader in communications planning. Hearts & Science will be highly focused on data-driven marketing. All three agency networks benefit from the full scale of Omnicom Media Group's activation and buying resources and our industry-leading Annalect data and analytics platform."

Late last year, Omnicom picked Scott Hagedorn, founder and CEO of Annalect Group, to be Hearts & Science's CEO. Hagedorn, who previously served as both managing director of OMD East and U.S. director of digital for the entire OMD network, will bring his data-driven sensibilities to bear in leading the new unit. Following his departure, former Annalect chief analytics officer Slavi Samardzija will be promoted to global CEO with former chief marketing officer Erin Matts serving as North American CEO.

"As data-driven marketing and applied audience analytics in mass media have gone from a fringe to a core practice, the industry can't lose sight of content's role in creating connections between brands and consumers," said Hagedorn.

Omnicom has been recruiting aggressively to staff its new operation in the months following its P&G win. Adweek's AgencySpy blog recently reported that Deutsch CMO Tara Levine and Grey New York chief digital officer Zachary Treuhaft had left their respective agencies to join what will now be Hearts & Science.

Kathleen Brookbanks, who joins Hearts & Science from its sister agency OMD to serve as chief operating officer, said the new network will open its offices at 7 World Trade Center with 175 employees and that the number will nearly double by the beginning of the third quarter. Additional offices will soon open in Puerto Rico and Canada, and Omnicom also plans to launch new international units in the second half of 2016.

P&G global brand officer Marc Pritchard recently spoke to various trade publications regarding his plans to streamline the company's network of agency partners, and Hearts & Science is in some ways the product of such industry-wide moves toward consolidation.

Hagedorn said, "Hearts & Science has been designed to protect the balance and leverage the connections between information and emotion, combining data-driven planning and buying practices with orchestrated content creation, delivery and optimization across all touch points."

The latest news comes a day after the larger Omnicom organization announced the formation of TBWA\WorldHealth, a new global network formed by consolidating its LLNS and Corbett agencies with the aim of disrupting healthcare marketing.

Today's announcement regarding Hearts & Science was somewhat rushed due to a series of leaks, but Omnicom plans to release more information about its newest network in the coming weeks.