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IPC's Brown named as Omnicom Media Group CEO in the UK

LONDON - Philippa Brown, the IPC Media board director whose responsibilities include managing director of IPC TX, IPC+ and IPC Direct, has been appointed to the newly created role of chief executive of Omnicom Media Group UK.

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Brown has been part of the media industry for 20 years. She started her career as a media planner and buyer at DMB&B before moving to Bartle Bogle Hegarty to join the media department, then headed by Richard Eyre.

She joined IPC in 1997 when Sly Bailey, the then IPC chief executive, appointed her as group marketing director, leading a team of 90 marketers across all IPC divisions.

In 2002, Brown became the first marketing director to be appointed to the IPC Media board. In 2003, Brown was promoted to managing director of IPC Media TX with additional responsibility for IPC Direct and IPC+. She is married to Kevin Brown, BBH media director.

Brown said: "It was a very difficult decision to leave IPC Media. But the chance to take this newly created position to lead Omnicom Media Group UK represents an outstanding opportunity. The exciting challenge facing marketers today is creating intelligent, engaging and effective dialogue with their audiences. Omnicom Media Group UK comprises some of the best media talent in the market and also represents some of the UK's most prestigious and interesting brands.

She added that her role would be to "leverage the group's resources" to enhance the work that Steve Williams and Morag Blazey, OMD and PHD chief executives respectively, and their teams are already achieving in meeting this challenge.

She said: "We will absolutely retain the independent flair, creativity and competitiveness of our UK businesses."

It was first revealed by Brand Republic last September that Omnicom was to set up Omnicom Media Group in the UK as a parent company to the network's two media agencies OMD and PHD. Williams and Blazey will report to Brown.

The move is the first time Omnicom, which also houses a number of agencies, will have a specific UK presence. The UK has previously fallen under control of the OMD Europe office, headed by Colin Gottlieb, chief executive of OMG Europe with responsibility for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Simon Francis, OMD Europe managing director.

OMG UK will bring Manning Gottlieb OMD, which is solely housed in the UK, under the same OMG umbrella.

The media network expanded its remit in September 2005 to manage the rollout of PHD and pooled-buying operation Opera into the second global network within the Omnicom stable.

OMG has already expanded its European presence, opening PHD offices in Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria and Latvia. Mark Holden, the executive planning director at PHD in the UK, left the agency in February to join the PHD Australian office.

The network has also expanded its presence across the globe, including the Middle East, with the opening of a PHD office in Dubai, and the Asia Pacific region, with the launch of PHD offices in key South East Asian markets, including Shanghai and New Zealand.

OMD's client roster in the UK includes McDonald's, Aviva and Vodafone. PHD handles the accounts for the BBC, Hyundai and Sainsbury's supermarkets.

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