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Music to Marketers' Ears

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CHICAGO Omnicom's DDB here has forged a strategic alliance with EMI Music Publishing in a non-exclusive arrangement giving the agency access to the company's large music portfolio.

"This alliance demonstrates DDB's commitment to fostering co-creativity and our view of DDB and its partners as the world's largest creative co-op," said DDB Chicago CEO Dana Anderson. "EMI Music Publishing is more than a music partner; they deliver content and creativity and experience that will be of great benefit to DDB and its clients."

The two entities recently worked together on McDonald's recent tour of EMI-backed gospel artists.

As part of the new arrangement, DDB will meet regularly with EMI about its clients' businesses, looking for ways to leverage EMI artists in marketing plans, and vice versa, said Don Hoffman, managing director of accounts at DDB. EMI is "great at talent management, not necessarily marketing and sales. They've hired us for our expertise at client management and relationships," he said.

The connection between marketers and new music has become closely tied in recent years. Artitsts such as John Mellencamp, Guns 'N' Roses and Jay-Z have licensed their songs for commercial pre-release as a way of building awareness of new music. Earlier this year, Starbucks went a step further, signing Paul McCartney to an in-house recording label.

DDB in Chicago handles clients such as McDonald's, Anheuser-Busch, State Farm and OfficeMax.