Omnicom Makes Its Media Move

OMD Launches in U.S.; PhD Becomes Second Brand
LOS ANGELES–Omnicom Media Group has launched its four year-old global media brand, Optimum Media Direction, in the U.S. and has combined its media-agency holdings, including U.S. agencies Advanswers and Creative Media, into a second global media network, called PhD.
OMD USA will provide broadcast media buying, research and specialty media services to Omnicom shops BBDO, DDB and TBWA/Chiat/Day.
With two distinct media networks–OMD USA will be aligned with Omnicom’s ad agencies while PhD is comprised of entrepreneurial media independents–Omnicom can offer clients a “choice of the highest caliber international media networks,” said John Wren, CEO of Omnicom Media Group parent Omnicom Group.
“The depth and breadth of the OMD network is unparalleled,” added Daryl Simm, Omnicom Media Group CEO. “A global client can walk into any market with some trust.”
At about $15 billion in billings, OMD is among the largest media networks in the world. PhD, uniting the U.S. media shops with HYPN in Canada and New PHD in England, will handle nearly $3 billion in media billings.
OMD’s absence in the U.S. has been a perceptual problem and the subject of much discussion inside the holding company and its agencies. [Adweek, Dec. 20, 1999]. One point of contention has been control over strategic media planning, which the agencies did not want to forfeit. In the end, that function remains at the individual shops, although planning will be offered to any new business won by OMD USA.
OMD USA was well received internally. “Omnicom’s needs were met and the agencies’ needs were well served,” said one shop official.
Omnicom also named Steve Grubbs, BBDO evp, national TV buying, to managing partner and CEO of OMD USA. Dan Rank, head of Optimum Network, was named OMD USA managing partner/national broadcast. Annette Cerbone, head of TBWA’s corporate media group, was named managing partner/local broadcast.
The national buying staffs of all three agencies, and spot-buying staffs of DDB and TBWA, become part of OMD USA, but BBDO’s Local Media Network will operate separately. At PhD, David Pattison, previously CEO of New PHD, was named CEO. K