Publicis buys DeWitt; Aegis up

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Publicis, Paris, continued its shopping spree by acquiring independent DeWitt Media, New York. The French agency network will combine DeWitt with the existing U.S. operations of its Optimedia International, creating a $1.25 billion U.S. agency to operate under the Optimedia International name. DeWitt Media has $400 million in billings, and with the acquisition, Optimedia's global billings reach $6 billion. DeWitt namesake Gene DeWitt will head Optimedia U.S. business. Current DeWitt clients include BMW, Bacardi, Land Rover and the National Basketball Association. Publicis also recently purchased Minneapolis agency Fallon McElligott.

Also on the media buying front, Aegis, London, the holding company for global media buying and planning company Carat, said pre-tax profits rose 26% to $102.7 million for 1999. The media services company also reported annualized net wins of $1.23 billion, up 57% from 1998. North America accounted for 43% of that total and Europe about 51%.

Copyright March 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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