The merger of Omnicom’s media operations across Europe is set to result
in a new media brand in the UK, born out of BMP DDB’s media department.
The move follows the failure to date of attempts to merge the UK media
departments of BMP and Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO.
BMP is understood to be prepared to go it alone on the launch of a media
dependant, though the possibility that AMV’s media could be included at
a later date has not been ruled out.
The moves have been prompted by plans to launch a European Omnicom media
network. Omnicom is to rebrand its BBDO and DDB Needham media operations
under a single banner across Europe later this month.
The media merger on the Continent has proved easier because Omnicom owns
most of the BBDO agencies outright. Omnicom cannot force AMV’s hand in
the UK because its stake in the agency is just 26 per cent.
A rebranding of BMP’s UK media department under the joint media
directors, Derek Morris and Paul Taylor, is now the most likely short-
term solution to the problem.
BMP is one of the few remaining full-service agencies in the UK and has
one of the most respected media teams. However, the agency is understood
to have accepted the benefits of a separately branded media operation if
a solution cannot be worked out with AMV.
Optimum is the favoured name for the new network. It is already used by
Omnicom in France and Germany. In Belgium, though, the BBDO and DDB
agencies share a media operation called Omnimedia and this is also
thought to be under consideration.
Viviane Prat, the chairman of Optimum Media in France, is tipped to take
over as chief of the new network.
WPP, which owns J. Walter Thompson and Ogilvy and Mather, has also
expressed its intention to implement a merger of its media brands
(Campaign, 15 March).