NEWS: Optimedia plans second-string buying venture

Optimedia, the Publicis-owned media company, is to launch a second London-based media operation in a two-pronged attack on the UK market.

Optimedia, the Publicis-owned media company, is to launch a second

London-based media operation in a two-pronged attack on the UK market.



The new company, which is expected to be officially unveiled early in

the new year, is designed to boost Optimedia’s capacity for winning new

business and to handle any conflicting accounts.



The second-string operation will complement the main Optimedia brand,

which has billings of pounds 200 million, but will also operate as a

competitor for new business.



However, its clients will be able to tap into Optimedia’s extensive

media research resource and its media volume, which will give them more

clout in negotiations with media owners.



Simon Lloyd, the chairman of Optimedia, admitted that plans were being

laid for the new operation, but stressed that it was still at the

drawing-board stage. ‘It won’t happen in the very near future, but it’s

certainly something we’re planning,’ Lloyd said.



Optimedia is one of Europe’s largest media networks and the brand has

second-string agencies in several other countries. More Media in Germany

and Idemedia in France both operate alongside, and in competition with,

their Optimedia parent.



The move to create another UK brand comes after a successful new

business year for Optimedia, which has won the global media account for

BA/Qantas - including a pounds 16 million spend in the UK - as well as

the Gateway 2000 and Bright Reasons accounts.



In the UK this week, headhunters were appointed to find a new managing

director for the main Optimedia operation, as John Taylor, the current

managing director, was promoted to the role of director of European

operations. Taylor is expected to oversee the new company launch.