Senior Publicis exec to head top Canadian outdoor agency

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MONTREAL--Rene Desmarais, recently exec VP and general manager of Publicis' Montreal office and former president of CFCF-12, Montreal's major English-language TV channel, is joining Astral Media to head its Omni Outdoor advertising company.

Omni is one of Canada's major outdoor firms, offering vertical and horizontal billboards and various other products including superboards, vertical backlits, airport advertising posters, gigantic vinyl banners and Omnicolumns on sidewalks in major urban markets. Omnicolumns carry a mix of traditional advertising, tourism information and maps, and cultural activity ads.

Mr. Desmarais' earlier career included nine years in the food business with J.M. Smucker Canada as general manager; Culinar's jam division as VP general manage; several operations, product and sales management posts at Agropur; and three years with Cossette Communication-Marketing as director, client services.

Copyright August 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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