Orange County Transit District board members voted Wednesday to replace the district's advertising and marketing agency with another that technically does not exist.
The unusual action was taken on a 4-0 vote because the N.W. Ayer firm, based in Los Angeles and New York, decided to close its Irvine division last month and laid off all but one of the people who had been handling the $3.3-million OCTD account.
The Ayer firm planned to keep a small staff in Orange County to service its Burger King account, OCTD officials said, but the district's account was to be reassigned to account executives elsewhere.
Wednesday's board vote authorizes the district to negotiate a new contract with a firm going formed this month by former Ayer employees who had worked on the OCTD account.
THe new firm, scheduled to begin operations on Jan. 18, will be known as deYong Ginsberg Weisman Bailey.
In other action Wednesday, the OCTD board voted to solicit bids from private bus companies to operate an existing OCTD Fullerton-to-Los Angeles route.