PHD is the secondary media brand within the Omnicom group, working alongside OMD under the umbrella of Omnicom Media Group. It was originally a single standalone British agency, a satellite of AMV BBDO that was best-known during the 1990s as one of the pioneers in strategic media planning. During 2001, the PHD brand was extended to Omnicom's non-network media shops on North America - including Creative Media in San Francisco, HYPN in Canada, Advanswers and Pentacom - to create a new Anglo-American network. Four years later the agency began expansion into other international markets as well, absorbing regional Omnicom-owned agencies such as the Mediawise network in Asia and Eastern Europe, Total Advertising & Communications in Australia and Page Three in South Africa. Although PHD is still one of the smaller media networks it has retained its unrivalled reputation for strategic planning. That has allowed it to capture a string of major accounts over the past few years. It was the recipient of several Agency of the Year awards as a result of spectacular growth between 2010 and 2012, and took that prize again in 2015 from Campaign. That steady growth was capped by the win of Volkswagen Group's global media in 2016. COMvergence ranked PHD as the #8 media specialist worldwide in 2018 with billings of $9.5bn. AdAge estimated global revenues of $753m for 2018, of which a little over 80% came from outside the US. In its original market of the UK it ranked as the #6 agency in 2018 with billings of £493m (Nielsen/Campaign). Philippa Brown succeeded Mike Cooper as global CEO of PHD in 2019.
Capsule checked 4th June 2019
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Adbrands Daily Update 8th May 2019: Omnicom Media Group made changes to its senior executive team following the retirement of Colin Gottlieb, previously regional CEO for EMEA. PHD CEO Mike Cooper moves up to lead OMG in both EMEA and also the Asia Pacific region. He will continue to be based in London. He is replaced at PHD by Philippa Brown, previously head of OMG in the UK.
Adbrands Weekly Update 18th Jan 2018: Omnicom announced the merger of UK media agency Rocket - traditionally a satellite of PHD - into the local office of Hearts & Science, the data-driven media network set up originally to handle P&G and AT&T. All Rocket staff and clients will transfer to the expanded Hearts & Science. H&S UK's Frances Ralston-Good is CEO of the combined agency, with Rocket's Mark Girling becoming chairman. Both agencies already worked side-by-side in Omnicom's Bankside building
Adbrands Weekly Update 23rd Mar 2017: UK supermarket retailer Sainsbury's backtracked on the assignment of its UK media account to M/Six, the WPP-CHI & Partners joint venture. According to Campaign, incumbent agency PHD filed a complaint with the Sainsbury board, alleging that the process had not been conducted fairly. As a result, the pitch has been reopened for re-evaluation.
Adbrands Weekly Update 16th Jun 2016: It's already looking like this year will see a round of major account reviews to match last year's "mediapalooza". One of the last hangovers from that media frenzy came to its bloody conclusion this week with the axeing of long-time partner Mediacom as global media network for Volkswagen Group's massive €2bn budget. Instead, in a triumph for Omnicom over WPP, the business will transfer to PHD from January 2017. The latter agency already manages the Porsche brand in several countries as well as other high-end marques, but it will now also take over all the group's mass-market autos, including Seat, Skoda and Audi as well as VW. Omnicom's DDB is the Volkswagen brand's main creative network. It is thought to be PHD network's biggest ever account win. In several markets, including the US, Omnicom will create a dedicated unit within the agency to handle the account.
Adbrands Weekly Update 26th Nov 2015: As rumoured last week, Unilever has indeed concluded its global media review, reappointing the incumbents without any significant changes. Main account holder Mindshare retains all its current markets, but added some Eastern European countries previously managed by PHD. However, the latter retained China and Initiative kept hold of Russia (and also Greece). PHD had already been awarded Australia and New Zealand during the summer, while Initiative's Latin American assignments were not under review.
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