Red Urban is a standalone brand owned by Omnicom. It is loosely aligned with the DDB network, operating primarily as a conflict shop to avoid clashes with clients of Tribal or the main DDB network. Since 2014, it has operated in only two countries, Canada and the Netherlands. Additional offices in Germany and the UK were absorbed into the main DDB network. However an office reopened in New York in 2017 to service new client Heineken, but has been largely inactive. The Red Urban brand was originally launched in Amsterdam in 1992, and was acquired 15 years later by Omnicom. Rather than fold Red Urban into the existing Tribal DDB network as had been the original plan, it was decided to use the brand as a secondary international digital network to resolve conflict accounts. As a result, Red Urban was also established in Dallas to handle Arby's account (which conflicted with Tribal's McDonald's) and in London to manage Guinness (because of DDB's position on the Budweiser account). However, the most significant outpost was launched in Toronto in 2009 to handle digital and later traditional creative for DDB International's client Volkswagen. That resolved a local conflict because of DDB Canada's long-standing partnership with Subaru. A spanner was thrown into the works in 2014 when VW insisted on moving its Canadian account into the main DDB office. That appeared to pose an existential threat to Red Urban Toronto. It was eventually resolved when Subaru accepted the group's offer to swap its own account over into Red Urban.
Capsule checked 2nd September 2018
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