WPP, Havas Media Groups in Joint Venture

LOS ANGELES Havas today confirmed that its Media Planning Group has teamed with WPP Group’s GroupM in a venture called 2MV.

Yves Del Frate, global account director at MPG, has been named 2MV’s CEO.

Havas said it would own 51 percent of the new entity, which it said was formed “to develop the media business of two select important brands.”

A representative at Havas declined to elaborate.

Sources identified a key motivation for the team-up as PSA Peugeot Citroen. MPG is lead agency on that account, handling the business in France, the client’s biggest market, as well as in Spain and Denmark, where it works with Omnicom Group’s OMD on the business. The client’s $750 million-plus European media account is in play.

Both the Peugeot and Citroen nameplates are up for grabs in separate reviews being held in eight European markets. OMD also handles significant client business (including the U.K., Germany, Italy and Switzerland) and is expected to participate, sources said.

Other contenders could not immediately be ascertained.

Peugeot could not immediately be reached for comment.

MPG has been reeling since the year began, losing Volkswagen’s $500 million North American account to WPP’s MediaCom (as part of a consolidation) and withdrawing from a review for Intel’s $300 million global business in January.

—with David Gianatasio