Billings rose 24% to $4.1 billion (combined broadcast buying of DDB, BBDO, TBWA\Chiat\Day). Estimated revenue rose 24% to $62 million. Added $300 million-plus in national broadcast from Cingular, J.C. Penny and Kmart, plus Qwest’s $60 million local broadcast. Also saw a big increase in local broadcast billings from existing clients and inherited a small planning group from DDB that did about $35 million in billings last year. Lost ExxonMobil’s $15 million spot billings.


With sisters like these, who needs enemies? Born in January 2000, OMD USA should have been an instant megastar. Monster clout OMD is by far the largest network TV buyer in the U.S and terrific management strength led by CEO Steve Grubbs and managing director Dan Rank. But Omnicom siblings DDB, BBDO and TBWA\Chiat\Day dominate the OMD board; with their well-publicized animus toward unbundling, they have refused to give up strategic media planning, forcing OMD to compete with one hand tied behind its back. CEO Daryl Simm, a relative newcomer to agency business, unable to foster cooperation among strong-willed agency leaders. If OMD USA handled all of its three sisters’ media planning and buying, it would have posted billings of $7.7 billion this year, a more appropriate, top-three position in the U.S.


Unlike many of its top 10 peers, OMD does no media planning for its sisters, so there’s nothing to grade in 2000. The agency does do limited planning for OMD offices abroad and some smaller Omnicom and affiliated shops. In 2001, veteran agency planner Kristina Allen joined as director of planning services, in large part to address this need.


BBDO head broadcast buyer Chris Geraci is well regarded. Natalie Swed-Stone runs a top-notch network radio group. Not just one of the biggest players in the business, but with so much firepower, also considered one of the best.


Shop is looking for a worldwide CEO, and that probably won’t be the only executive change at the media network’s top levels in 2001. What really needs to change, though, is OMD’s relationship with its agency partners.