Omnicom has emerged as the favourite to replace Testa as the
financial backer of the CDD agency start-up.
News of a possible deal has raised speculation that Peter Mead,
Omnicom's deputy chairman, will become chairman of the fledgling shop
and that it will open with the £8 million Mercedes UK business as
its first account.
If the deal is struck, it would mean the end of an almost five-year
tenure of the account by Partners BDDH.
Mead, Mercedes and Partners BDDH were unavailable for comment as
Campaign went to press. Dave Dye, one of CDD's founding partners, would
say only that they were still talking to potential backers and that they
were "a long way down the road", although the start-up as yet has no
Although Springer & Jacoby has the Mercedes account in Germany, France
and Spain, the luxury car brand allows its country managers considerable
As a result, Joachim Eberhardt, the Mercedes UK managing director, is
understood to have opted for Omnicom rather than Springer & Jacoby's
London office. Eberhardt enjoyed a close working relationship with
Omnicom's chairman, John Wren, while working for Mercedes in the US.
Omnicom, whose BBDO subsidiary picked up the $2.4 billion global
account of Mercedes' DaimlerChrysler parent at the end of last year, is
said to have been looking at options for the UK Mercedes business for
several months. Its two major agency arms, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO and
TBWA/London, are prevented from handling the business because of
conflict with their Volvo and Nissan accounts respectively.