PHD boosts Abbott Mead Vickers ties with media alliance

LONDON - PHD has strengthened its ties with Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO by moving its media planners into AMV's creative department.

The initiative, dubbed Project Seed, will see PHD strategic planners working with the AMV planning and creative teams throughout the creative process. It resurrects an alliance between the two agencies: PHD was acquired by AMV in 1996 to be its media department.

Project Seed is being led by PHD's executive planning director, Mark Holden, and the managing director of AMV, Farah Ramzan. The idea was conceived by the president of PHD, Jonathan Durden, and the group chairman of AMV, Michael Baulk.

Holden will initially be spending two days a week in the AMV offices, advising its planners and creative teams on media strategy. The initiative will be opened to all PHD's strategic planners with the intention that there could be up to six of them resident at AMV at any one time.

PHD is opening up its entire resource to AMV, including its specialist sponsorship division, Drum PHD, its event marketing department, Drum APM, and the interactive specialist, PHDiQ.

It becomes the latest media agency to seek closer links with a creative agency. Last year, Naked Communications launched Naked Inside, an in-house media division at Clemmow Hornby Inge.

TBWA\London and Manning Gottlieb OMD also joined forces to launch an in-house creative resource called TBWA\Connections.

"The key point of difference is that this isn't about putting a single person into an agency -- it's about the entire resource," Holden said.

He added that the initiative will enable AMV to benefit from PHD's media intelligence while PHD's planners get a more rounded and complete view of advertising.

PHD account planners will work across the breadth of AMV's accounts rather than just on briefs that the two agencies share. They will not charge AMV for their time.

Holden was promoted to PHD's executive board last August. He was formerly the managing director of PHD's communication strategy planning subsidiary, Rocket.

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