Bill Bund

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Bill bund isn't the only person to close a cross-platform deal, but he did set a new standard this year by completing what's believed to be the single largest media deal ever, a one-year agreement between Omnicom Group's OMD Worldwide and ABC Unlimited valued at $1 billion.

ABC Unlimited is the integrated sales and marketing unit of the ABC Television Network and its media-savvy parent Walt Disney Co.

The deal encompasses all of OMD's clients and 13 of Disney's broadcast network, cable, radio, station group, print and Internet properties. In addition to advertising, the agreement includes marketing, promotion, programming joint ventures and product placement.

"This was [OMD's] vision and their goal," Mr. Bund says. "They came to us and to competitors. Then that's where we took over.

"How was ABC Unlimited going to construct something as a portal into the Walt Disney Co. properties to suit their needs?" the executive asks.

Mr. Bund, 48, a Midwesterner who worked for both newspapers and TV stations in his career, credits constant discussion and collaborative work with both OMD and Disney division executives. Diplomacy coupled with significant incremental spending by OMD, he says, helped convince the different division presidents of sales to back the deal. "We kept reminding them to look at it at a macro level of what's good for the Walt Disney Co.," Mr. Bund says.

Dan Rank, managing director of OMD in New York, says the agency first broached the idea of a $1 billion cross-platform deal as a way to better harness the agency's clout.

"We said let's take all the clout we have with big suppliers-Disney is one of them-and approach them with every penny we spend in one conversation."

After an initial 2-hour discussion with OMD in January, Mr. Bund recalls talking the next day with Mike Shaw, the ABC president of sales and marketing.

"We agreed that Mount Everest was put in front of us and we asked how were we going to climb [it] and be successful," Mr. Bund says.

Mr. Rank says it was Mr. Bund who made it possible to scale the mountain and bring the deal to fruition five months later.

"There were a lot of times, many times, we thought this was not going to happen," Mr. Rank says. "But Bill's personality is one of the reasons why this deal happened. He is a very affable guy and very patient. He is non-confrontational, but he's as tenacious as the day is long."

The executive sold what he believes was the most expensive commercial unit on TV in 2000, a $3 million spot in the Super Bowl.

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