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Omnicom buys majority stake in indie 180 Amsterdam

LONDON - Omnicom Group has bought a majority stake in the independent creative agency 180 Amsterdam.

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180 has shared the Adidas account with Omnicom-owned TBWA\Worldwide since 2002, and earlier this month Sony Electronics America appointed 180 and another Omnicom agency, BBDO, to its $56m (£28.6m) account. 180 also counts Motorola, General Motors and Amstel among its clients.

The agency was founded in 1998 and has been a staple on the international awards scene, picking up numerous awards at Cannes, D&AD and the Effies, among others. It recently announced it is to open a Los Angeles office, its first international outpost, next year to handle the Sony business.

The acquisition comes at a time when one-time creative hotshop TBWA\ has had something of a slow year.

Its London office was hit by the departure last year of Trevor Beattie, the renowned creative director, along with chief executive Andrew McGuinness and deputy creative director Bil Bungay. They left to start up their own agency, Beattie McGuinness Bungay, taking clients such as McCain's with them.

180 is managed by founders Alex Melvin, Guy Hayward and Chris Mendola, along with Peter Cline, managing partner, and Andy Fackrell and Richard Bullock, executive creative directors. No one was available for comment at the time of writing.

John Wren, president and CEO of Omnicom, said: "Led by an outstanding management team, 180 is at the leading edge of international creativity. We are delighted to welcome 180 to our portfolio of award-winning, world-class creative agencies."

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