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Doyle Dane Bernbach Group, Needham Harper Worldwide and BBDO International this week (in 1986) were expected to agree to create a new agency holding company that would immediately become the biggest in the world, with billings of more than $5 billion and worldwide gross income of $736 million. The new group would replace Interpublic Group of Cos., with its $4.7 billion in billings and worldwide gross income of $707 million, as the largest agency holding company. It is expected that the holding company would be used to circumvent major account conflicts that would have prevented an outright merger. DDB handles Volkswagen, while Needham handles Honda and BBDO is the agency for Dodge. Needham also has Anheuser-Busch business, while BBDO is agency for Stroh Brewery Co. DDB Group's board assembled April 24 in the Helmsley Palace to hear the proposal from DDB management. The merger became a more attractive alternative for DDB, said one observer, because another year of declining
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