The planet’s three largest agency holding companies – WPP Group, Interpublic Group and Omnicom – announced Tuesday they are to withdraw their backing from Mediaport, the joint media management agency trumpeted as the new way forward at its launch little more than a year ago.

Mediaport’s function was to develop a standardized electronic system to handle the back-office functions of media buying, like billing and invoicing. It will now transfer to the aegis of the American Association of Advertising Agencies and the Association of National Advertisers, both in New York.

Mediaport president/ceo Michael Lotito declined to comment on the closure, reported in Advertising Age yesterday. His lips were also zipped over speculation that the global troika are poised to acquire Donovan Data Systems, a company retained by many media and advertising agencies to provide services similar to those offered by Mediaport.

Data sourced from: New York Times; additional content by WARC staff