NBC and Omnicom in J-Lo deal

NEW YORK - The Omnicom Group has signed a ground-breaking deal that will see it foot the production costs and line up the advertising for a TV music special starring Jennifer Lopez.

Both companies confirmed the negotiations and said the deal was not yet complete. The arrangement would allow NBC to avoid the risky task of selling the show in the current ad slump, while Omnicom enlists most of the commercial support. The show is pencilled in to air around Thanksgiving in November.

G Bruce Redditt, executive vice-president of Omnicom, said, "You approach clients early enough and there's a chance they might link up not only commercial time but sponsorship, sweepstakes, public relations. There's a backdrop of marketing services that can be applied to these shows."

Jeff Gaspin, executive vice-president in charge of specials and programme strategy at NBC Entertainment, said, "It works for the advertiser and it works for the network. It is a way for all of the players to be more like partners."