NEW YORK – Publicis Group and Cordiant Communications today formally named the holding company that will house its two media services networks the Zenith Optimedia Group.

The holding company, in which Publicis holds a 75 percent interest and Cordiant the remaining 25 percent, claims more than $17 billion in billings worldwide. Zenith Optimedia Group has over 150 offices in more than 60 countries, and employs 3300 people, a spokesman said.

John Perriss, formerly known as Zenith’s worldwide chairman and CEO, becomes CEO of the Zenith Optimedia Group Worldwide. Zenith’s CEO in the US, Rich Hamilton, will see his duties similarly expanded to CEO of Zenith Optimedia Group Americas. Hamilton will continue to run Zenith’s US day-to-day operations as well.

In Europe, Zenith Optimedia Group will be run by Simon Lloyd, who was the CEO of Optimedia Worldwide and will now function as CEO and deputy chairman of Zenith Optimedia Group Europe. Antony Young, heretofore CEO of Zenith’s Asia operations, will be chairman of the Zenith Optimedia Group Asia.

Although operating through a single holding company, which began with an agreement between Publicis and Cordiant that was concluded on July 19, the two media shops will continue to operate independently while boasting greater buying clout and access to more extensive research tools and software systems, sources said. Optimedia’s clients include Hewlett-Packard, Palm, Siemens and SC Johnson, while some of Zenith’s clients include United Airlines, Procter & Gamble, Mars, Sony and Toshiba.

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