Will Nets Unleash Diamond Dogs?

OMD hawking 'Mutt Makeover' to clients

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%%STORYIMAGE_LEFT%% Television continues to go to the dogs,and so does the Omnicom Group. First it was the "National Dog Show" on NBC, which last year picked up a multi-year sponsorship deal with Purina, a client of Omnicom's media shop PHD. This time, the dog deal of the new season may be "Mutt Makeover," a reality dog makeover program that is being pitched to networks by Omnicom's other media agency, OMD.

"We are just starting to approach sponsors," Guy McCarter, OMD senior VP-director of entertainment marketing, told Madison + Vine. "We're taking it out to all the pet-food people, and to automotive and credit-card people. OMD clients get first look at it."

While McCarter feels the program would be ideal for cable, his partner on the project, Wendy Diamond, founder and editor of Animal Fair, a magazine about pampered pets and their owners, is gunning for a broadcaster.

"We want a network," said Diamond. "It's the perfect show for broadcast. One of two households has pets. That's more than the number of people who get plastic surgery.And they have 'Extreme Makeover' [on ABC]. Not everyone can afford plastic surgery, but everyone can afford a pet."

%%PULLQUOTE_RIGHT%% Diamond describes "Mutt Makeover" as an "emergency makeover" show for stray dogs. Each one-hour episode will feature the irrepressible Diamond and her sidekick Lucky, a Maltese, as they travel nationwide, from one animal shelter to another,rescuing dogs for makeover and finding them a home.

"People have to audition to become the parents of the dogs," said Diamond. "So, for example, if we find a little Chihuahua that might not be the perfect dog for a family in Ohio, [it could] be perfect for a fashion model in New York City."

The show will also star a groomer and a vet. Wendy says she has tapped Reed Zaroff for the doggie doctor role. "He's the George Clooney of vets," she gushes. "He's so cute."

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