Publicis has snapped up the New York media independent De Witt
Media and is using the acquisition as a springboard for the launch of
its own US media titan.
The new media operation will embrace De Witt and Publicis’s own in-house
media department. The outfit will be branded Optimedia, the name of
Publicis’s international media network.
Optimedia US will launch with dollars 1.25 billion billings and a client
list that incorporates De Witt’s dollars 400 million business, including
accounts such as BMW, Bacardi and Land Rover, and Publicis’s media
clients such as British Airways, L’Oreal and Nestle. De Witt’s founder,
Gene De Witt, takes over as chairman and chief executive of
In a radical move, Publicis is merging its entire media department into
the operation. Most other US agencies have retained media planning
in-house when they have created their own media specialist.
Simon Lloyd, the chairman of Optimedia International and a key mover
behind the deal, said: ’We will offer a unique service based on a
strategic and creative approach to media. Our competitors are offering
volume-based buying services under their media brand.’
The creative media approach is one upon which De Witt has built its
reputation since its launch in 1984 and helped make it an acquisition
target for several agency networks. The creation of Optimedia US means
Optimedia International can now claim global billings of dollars 6