Omnicom mulls CDD tie-up as Mercedes moves

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

business.



Although Springer & Jacoby has the Mercedes account in Germany, France

and Spain, the luxury car brand allows its country managers considerable

autonomy.



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.



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