Updated: CBS Taps OMD for Media

NEW YORK CBS has awarded its media planning and buying chores across all traditional and digital platforms to Omnicom Group’s OMD without a review.
The assignment includes the CBS and Showtime networks. Spending on the account in 2007 was $135 million, per media tracking service Recma.

Interpublic Group’s Initiative has handled the work, which it won in March 2006 after a review. At that time, Alan Cohen, now CEO of OMD USA, was with Initiative and led the winning pitch. (Initiative took over the business from then incumbent Carat. OMD placed second in that review.)

Confirming the move, George Schweitzer, president, CBS Marketing Group, said, “it was basically Alan Cohen and his management team.” He also noted the effort of two former Initiative staffers who are both now at OMD: Greg Castronuovo, managing director, OMD West, and John Haber, U.S. director of OMD’s Ignition Factory.

“Initiative, did nothing wrong; they’re terrific,” said Schweitzer. “So, it just kind of came full circle” when Cohen joined OMD earlier this year, he said. “Len Fogge [Showtime marketing president] and I just decided we needed the leadership and guidance and experience that they had with our business.”

OMD referred calls to CBS. Initiative reps also could not be immediately reached.

This story updates an earlier item with client confirmation and other details.