BMP DDB London launches separate media operation

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LONDON -- BMP DDB London is to split off its media operation into a new company BMP Optimum from April, creating what it claims will be the U.K.'s fourth largest media operation, with billings of $488m.

"This is a coming of age and a recognition of our business base," says Derek Morris, joint media director of BMP DDB, who will become joint managing director of the new set-up. "Nearly 60% of our business is now independent (of the main agency)."

Clients of both BMP DDB's media department and of BMP Solutions in Media, a subsidiary set up to avoid client conflicts, will be transferred to the new venture. BMP Solutions in Media will remain, as part of BMP Optimum.

Clients include: CPC, Benckiser, Pepsi and Johnson & Johnson, plus independent media accounts for Braun, music retailer HMV and renowned London nightclub Ministry of Sound.

The benefit of the new operation is that it will "allow us to protect even more against (account) clashes and gives us more business focus," says Morris. Taking on the name Optimum, DDB's international media brand, also brings continuity for multi-national clients, the agency claims.

"We wore the clothes of a full service agency, but we won as much independent media business as everyone else in the past five years and we didn't worry what the brass plaque on the door said," Morris says. "All around us, people were renaming to escape a weak agency or to say, `this restaurant is under new management.' What we're saying is, `this restaurant is under the same management.' I hope nothing changes."

BMP Optimum will have its own entrance next door to the main BMP DDB agency.

Copyright March 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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