PHD Fights Off OMD, Others to Keep Discovery Media Account

Retaining Buying, Planning Business Huge Save for Troubled Agency

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- In a huge save for the struggling agency, Omnicom Group's PHD has retained the more than $100 million media-planning and -buying business from Discovery Networks, according to executives familiar with the situation.

It fended off sibling agency OMD, as well as Interpublic Group of Cos.' Universal McCann and the Martin Agency.

After a much maligned 2008 that included layoffs; talks of Chrysler, the agency's biggest client, leaving them on the hook for $80 million should the automaker fold; and even rumors of the agency's demise, the Discovery news is a big step in the right direction as PHD looks to turn things around. The agency has worked on the Discovery account for nearly 10 years.

In December Omnicom brought in Scott Hagedorn, formerly managing director of the Eastern region for OMD, to head up PHD USA. Mr. Hagedorn, 38, replaced Matt Seiler, who left last July to run Universal McCann.

Discovery's network of a dozen channels includes The Learning Channel, Animal Planet, Science Channel, Military Channel, FitTV, Discovery Kids, Investigation Discovery and Discovery Health. Both Discovery and PHD did not return calls seeking comment.

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