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MONTREAL -- PNMD here has become BBDO Montreal, following Omnicom Group's BBDO Worldwide's move from minority to majority owner of the full-service agency in recent weeks.

Founded in 1969, PNMD has had an equity relationship with BBDO since 1982. Chairman and CEO Raymond Boucher and three other senior executives remain minority shareholders.

"It's consistent with our offices outside the U.S.," said Allen Rosenshine, chairman and CEO of BBDO Worldwide, New York. "Outside of the U.S. we hold the majority share of most of the agencies, but prefer to have local partners who know the market."

PNMD has billings of $90.1 million, revenues of $10.1 million and a staff of close to 130. Its largest clients include Alcan, Brasserie Labatt, Pharmaprix, Telus (Quebec) and Reno-Depot, in addition to DaimlerChrysler through PentaMark.

"When we need international work for clients, Canada is one of the countries we come to," Mr. Rosenshine said. "But while our Canadian offices are recognized for their creativity, their overall growth has been lagging, a situation that BBDO hopes to overcome with its new structure of three full BBDO offices -- Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver -- offering fully integrated services."

In collaboration with its associated companies (Nolin Branding & Design and Proximity Canada), BBDO Montreal offers services in brand strategy, advertising, promotion and event marketing, relationship marketing, design, interactive solutions, media planning and buying. It offers public relations through an alliance with GPC International, a sister company within Omnicom. Media buying is done by OMD Canada, whose billings are close to $1 billion.

Proximity Canada, handling customer relationship marketing, has been in operation in each of BBDO's Canadian offices since last December. Mr. Rosenshine said further Proximity offices are to be set up in the U.S.

Also to be expanded is BBDO University, the company's training facility for personal and professional advancement, which will be offered to employees in the Asia-Pacific region and Latin America in the next two years. -- Gail Chiasson

Copyright May 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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