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Omnicom grows investments

Omnicom Group, one of the world's largest ad agency groups, acquires a stake in Organic Online, a high-end producer of marketing Web sites.

Omnicom Group (OMC) said today it has acquired a "significant" minority stake in Organic Online, a high-end producer of marketing Web sites based in San Francisco.

"We are very attracted to Omnicom's global footprint," Organic's president Michael Hudes said. "We have aspirations to build a global business. We bootstrapped the company about has far as we could go."

Organic also handles online advertising, strategic consulting and research, and Web hosting. Terms of the investment were not disclosed.

Founded in 1993, Organic's client list includes consumer product mainstays Colgate-Palmolive, Harley-Davidson, Kimberly-Clark, Levi-Strauss, McDonald's, Sony, and Star Wars for LucasFilm.

Organic, which has 60 employees, also incubated and then spun out Web start-ups BigBook, an online yellow pages directory of 11 million U.S. businesses, and Accrue, which offers online measurement and research software.

Within Omnicom, one of the largest ad agency groups in the world, Organic will be associated with the new Communicade interactive division. That group includes Agency.Com, Interactive Solutions, Razorfish, Red Sky Interactive, and Think New Ideas--all entities in which Omnicom owns minority stakes.

Omnicom's ad agencies include BBDO Worldwide, DDB Needham Worldwide and TBWA Chiat/Day, and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners.