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Omnicom creates European body to drive business

LONDON - Omnicom Group is hoping to take its European business forward with the formation of a new venture, Omnicom Europe, that will be led by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO founding partner Peter Mead.

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Mead will head Omnicom Europe, based in London, and look at how to optimise business development, logistics support, property management and procurement.

The board of the new organisation will include senior executives from Omnicom's advertising networks, including TBWA\, BBDO Worldwide and DDB Worldwide. It will also include executives from the media networks PHD and OMD, as well as Omnicom chief financial officer Randall Weisenburger.

Omnicom is hoping to replicate the success of Diversified Agency Services in the US, which tries to get Omnicom clients to buy more than one service from the company. As well as its advertising and media interests, Omnicom owns several public relations networks, including Fleishman-Hillard, along with direct marketing agencies including Rapp Collins Worldwide and Claydon Heeley Jones Mason, and various branding and design shops.

John Wren, chief executive of Omnicom, said: "Our new structure will allow us to focus even more effectively on our European operations. Peter Mead, as vice-chairman of Omnicom Group, is the natural leader of this initiative. We share a common philosophy on deepening our relationships with our clients and providing our employees with the tools and programmes they need to be most effective."

At the same time, Omnicom said it had bought Agency.com, the interactive agency whose clients include HP, British Airways and T-Mobile.

Agency.com was owned by Seneca, the company to which Omnicom transferred all its digital marketing agencies in 2001, including a 35% share in Agency.com. Last year, Omnicom bought another of Seneca's holdings, Organic, in a $106m (£65.2m) deal, but Agency.com chief executive Chan Suh has said there are no plans at the moment for Agency.com to merge with Organic.

Unveiling its second-quarter results yesterday, Omnicom saw a 21% rise in foreign income, but domestic sales still make up more than half of its revenue.

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