OMD, whose clients include Pepsi and Visa, on Wednesday landed the Disney Studios account, which handles an estimated $800 million a year in advertising spending, according to sources familiar with the matter.
It is a major coup for OMD, which has a large Los Angeles office that handles its Nissan and Wells Fargo accounts.
Disney did not widely solicit offers and presentations from different agencies as most companies do when considering a shift in strategy. Instead, the search was done under the radar. A Disney representative declined to comment on the move.
The Burbank studio has been running hot and cold at the box office this year.
Its most recent release,
But last summer, Disney shot itself in the foot with the big-budget flop
It's been two-and-a-half years since Disney shopped around its movie ad buying account.
The Burbank studio solicited offers in 2011 after a high-profile shake-up at the studio, and brought in a brand strategist, MT Carney, a hire that raised eyebrows given that she had no experience marketing films.
Carney touted her social media skills and even tweeted details of her job interview process. She oversaw the account review that led to the hiring of the firm 4D and the dismissal of the company's longtime ad agency,
But Carney quickly fizzled at Disney and left in early 2012. She was replaced by Ricky Strauss, who remains the studio's marketing president.
Ad Week first reported the shift in Disney ad buying.
Another buying firm, Carat, will retain Disney's account to handle ad buying for theme parks, a job that is responsible for an estimated $200 million a year in spending.