Omnicom buys Pauffley parent

IDH Group, parent of corporate design group Pauffley, has been acquired by US communications giant Omnicom Group for an undisclosed sum.

The London group becomes part of Diversified Agency Services, Omnicom’s marketing services arm, but will operate as a separate entity, reporting to DAS’s London office. All executive directors have long-term service contracts and the staff will remain the same.

IDH chief executive officer Nick Glanvill says: “Every employee will benefit from the transaction and throughout the earn-out.” He claims the deal was motivated by “the need to protect our marketplace, which is becoming increasingly international. We need the support the Omnicom network can give us”.

Among its American and European design interests, Omnicom owns corporate branding network Interbrand, parent of Interbrand Newell and Sorrell. It also owns BBDO, through which it has interests in London design consultancies Fishburn Hedges and The Open Agency.

UK mail order group Grattan has appointed Clarity Communications to design and develop home shopping services on the Internet. Clarity managing director Martin Chilcott says the group was appointed without a pitch.

Chilcott also denies rumours that Clarity is planning to be sold to Siegel & Gale, but admits it was approached by Siegel & Gale last year. “We are not up for sale, but we are looking to find partners to help us grow our business internationally,” he says, suggesting cross-sector tie-ups with software developers would be appropriate.

Clarity has also won the Curry’s Internet account, likely to be developed alongside Dixon’s Freeserve. Meanwhile, Carphone Warehouse has responded to Clarity’s “resignation” last week, saying the group was not invited to repitch for a review in April. “We appointed Icon Media Lab and Morse Hughes Rae in August 1999,” says a spokesman for CPW.

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