Omnicom merges Austrian agencies

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Omnicom Group will merge its two Austrian media agencies, creating a $150 million-billing outfit under the Optimum Media Direction Austria banner. The move is part of the company's global rollout of the OMD brand. The new entity will emerge Jan. 1 from the joining of the existing OMD Austria and Media Plan Austria. OMD Europe claims it will rank No. 4 in the market, ahead of Carat and WPP Group's MindShare. Previously, OMD Austria was No. 7 and Media Plan No. 8.

"This merger is right on strategy," says Johan Denekamp, chief operating officer of OMD Europe. "Omnicom had two good media companies in Austria, now we have one really strong brand. "The Austrian market is a strong adjunct to our powerful Omnicom position in Germany," where "clarified OMD branding" will be announced shortly, he adds. OMD Austria will be headed by Bernhard Mayer and Sabine Schmidt, from OMD and Media Plan respectively, as joint CEOs.

OMD Austria is owned in equal portions by BBDO Worldwide, DDB Worldwide's CCP, Heye and TBWA Worldwide.

Copyright December 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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