DDB on ad duty for Tourism Australia

Baz Luhrmann's next film among promotion efforts

Omnicom Group's DDB network said it has won creative chores on Tourism Australia's three-year, $170 million global ad account.

DDB in Venice, Calif., takes on lead-agency status for the North American piece of the business, per Nick Bishop, the shop's president and CEO. The contract with DDB runs for three years.

Media duties are still in play, with the incumbent, Aegis Group's Carat and Havas' MPG battling it out as finalists, sources said.

DDB's victory follows a review that came down to DDB and Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi. Independent M&C Saatchi, Santa Monica, Calif., was the incumbent.

"We 're very excited, as it's huge win for DDB around the world," Bishop said. "The network came together well. It was strongly and professionally led, organized and integrated." The pitch, which began in February, involved the combined efforts of several DDB offices, including Sydney, Singapore, London and Shanghai, as well as DDB outposts in New Zealand and Japan.

Bishop, a native Australian, called the win "personally exciting as well."

DDB will use its links to Hollywood's motion picture studios to leverage the November release of the Baz Luhrmann epic "Australia" to fuel tourism efforts, among other upcoming endeavors, he said.

"DDB Worldwide will be assisting Tourism Australia to maximize our promotional activities around the movie, which offers huge potential to put Australia in the spotlight globally and ignite the Australia brand to motivate people who see the movie to then see the country," said Tourism Australia managing director Geoff Buckley in a statement.

The client said only that media chores have not been assigned, but has not discussed the status of that competition or confirmed contenders.