Publicis acquires De Witt to launch Optimedia US brand

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.

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

Optimedia.



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

billion.



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