DDB pulls out of Optimum Media

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MELBOURNE -- DDB has pulled out of fledging media specialist Optimum Media Direction, leaving Clemenger BBDO as sole owner of the business, after legal difficulties with rigid media guidelines over "joint ownership" which prevented some television networks from extending credit terms to OMD.

"We've had to make modifications to the ownership of OMD to accommodate our ability to establish lines of credit with the media, given that we have no trading history," says Ron Bartlett, OMD's chief executive. Wayne Kingston, chairman of DDB, said it was likely DDB would eventually again become joint owner with Clemenger in future OMD operations.

News of the split emerged as DDB and OMD denied suggestions that OMD's win last month of the $8m Hungry Jack hamburger fast food media business could represent a conflict of interest with DDB's McDonald's account and Clemenger's Pizza Hut responsibilities. "Conflict is not an issue and had nothing to do with the split," says Kingston.

Copyright May 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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