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Disney, OMD in review

Apr 28, 2003  •  Post A Comment

The groundbreaking $1 billion media deal struck between OMD USA and Walt Disney Co. faces major hurdles if it is to be renewed, given that both sides have question marks about the success of the deal last year.

This week the two parties begin discussions on a possible second year for the pact. But executives close to both companies said last year’s deal didn’t quite live up to its billing, with Disney’s ABC receiving less than the promised $1 billion spend and some OMD clients complaining they felt under pressure to spend money on Disney properties.

“They have fallen short of spending,” said one of the executives. “About $100 million overall.” The OMD-Disney deal gave ABC 25 percent more in TV ad dollars than it would have received without the deal, according to the executives. In return, Omnicom Group’s OMD received cost-per-thousand savings on its buys.

Dan Rank, now executive VP-advertising sales for Vivendi Universal’s Universal Television Group, who championed the deal last year as managing director of OMD USA, would not comment. But current OMD executives said they were satisfied with the deal.