Hanks exits Davie-Brown, starts branded entertainment shop

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Omnicom Group's product placement agency Davie-Brown Entertainment is set to lose President Tera Hanks, who is leaving to set up a branded entertainment venture with Hollywood producers Michael Davies and Chris Moore.

According to individuals close to the situation, Ms. Hanks is forming a new firm along with Mr. Davies, who is merging his production company Diplomatic with Ben Affleck-backed production outfit Live Planet, headed by Mr. Moore. The newly merged entity will form the basis of the new branded entertainment entrant. None of the parties involved would comment.

Both Mr. Davies and Mr. Moore are major supporters of brand-backed programming and have previously worked with Ms. Hanks. Diplomatic is currently behind ABC's reality show "Wife Swap," and produced "Play for A Billion" with the support of Pepsi-Cola Co. for The WB network, while Live Planet is known for integrating advertisers in "Push Nevada," a reality game show that aired on ABC in 2002.

The new company will look to develop and produce TV and films together with advertisers. Also expected to join is Davie-Brown's director-creative strategy John Kaplan. Mr. Kaplan and Ms. Hanks will remain with Davie-Brown until the end of January.

The departure of two executives at Davie-Brown Entertainment is a loss for Omnicom, which hired Robert Riesenberg last year to spearhead its march into the branded entertainment field through a separate company, Full Circle Entertainment. The remains of Davie-Brown are expected to be folded into an existing Omnicom agency. It is not clear which.

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