Disney Moves $800 Million in Media Business to OMD

Staffers from incumbent 4D will follow the business

In a stunning shift, OMD is taking on media responsibilities for Disney's movie business, according to sources. Annual media spending on the account is estimated at $800 million.

As a result of the move—which came without a pitch—staffers from the incumbent agency, Publicis Groupe's 4D, will follow the business to OMD. OMD is expected to keep the dedicated unit intact under U.S. CEO Monica Karo.

In March 2011, after a three-month review, Disney split its $1 billion in media spending between Publicis Groupe, which landed responsibility for studio, home entertainment and interactive gaming, and Carat, which won duties for theme parks and resorts.

In that search, a consortium of agencies pitched on behalf of Omnicom Media Group and Publicis Groupe assembled a team that would become 4D in a bid to retain business handled by 10-year incumbent Starcom, a unit of Publicis Groupe. Beyond Carat, there was one other contender: WPP Group's Mindshare. MT Carney, the Disney president of worldwide marketing who ran the review, exited in January 2012 after a search began for her replacement.

Reps at OMD and Disney could not immediately be reached. 

The shift comes as Publicis Groupe and Omnicom are working toward the expected first-quarter completion of their merger but the move is not related to that transaction, sources said.