Carat is Europe's largest full service media planning and buying specialist, and ranks among the leaders worldwide. According to Recma, billings were $32.69bn in 2016. It is the biggest brand within what was until recently the independent marketing services group Aegis. Unlike all of its major competitors, Carat had no direct connection to a traditional creative advertising network, giving it a virtually unique position as the world's biggest "media independent" agency. During 2012, however, the entire business was acquired by Japanese giant Dentsu. Earlier the same year, the network scored the biggest account win in its history with the consolidation of the global General Motors account, which it already held in Europe. A series of subsequent wins allowed Carat to move up into 5th place overall among global media networks in 2013. Carat is partnered within what is now called Dentsu Aegis by digital arm Isobar and secondary media network Vizeum as well as other marketing businesses.
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Adbrands Weekly Update 17th May 2018: You win some, you lose some... Dentsu Aegis Network and Omnicom swapped two big accounts this week. Carat lost control of the UK Government's £140m media buying budget, that it won four years ago from WPP. The account moves with immediate effect to Manning Gottlieb OMD. Travelling in the opposite direction was Procter & Gamble's North America haircare business. P&G has chosen to carve up its various product segments into different silos, each of which is served by a slightly different team. Media for most of P&G's North American business was consolidated last year into Omnicom's newly formed Hearts & Science agency, though Carat retained a few brands. Now, all of P&G haircare - Pantene, Head & Shoulders, Herbal Essences - is moving to Carat, a combined gain for that network of around $245m in billings. Hearts & Science retains most other brands.
Adbrands Weekly Update 5th Jun 2017: Procter & Gamble completed the latest round in its global media review. Starcom retained all existing media responsibilities in the UK and also added other assignments previously managed by Mediacom, including press media buying. In German-speaking markets, incumbent Mediacom retained its position, but only as a result of agreeing to establish a dedicated joint venture with independently owned Pilot Media, which had previously handled some digital duties. In Nordic markets, however, Mediacom lost its brief to Carat.
Adbrands Weekly Update 8th Sep 2016: It was an exceptionally quiet week for account assignments. Biggest news of the week was the completion of Diageo's global media review. There were virtually no changes, with Carat reconfirmed as the drinks giant's main global agency, handling North America, Europe, Latin America and most of Asia. GroupM's Mindshare will handle India and South Africa, while MediaVest retains Australia.
Adbrands Weekly Update 15th Oct 2015: One of the remaining big "mediapalooza" reviews came to its conclusion. Mondelez said it would consolidate global media at its two biggest incumbent agencies, Carat and Starcom MediaVest. However the balance of power shifts firmly to the former network. Carat retains its existing responsibility in most of mainland Western Europe and Asia, but adds three key markets of the UK (from Omnicom's PHD), India (from local independent Madison Media), and above all North America, which was previously handled by Starcom MediaVest. The latter retains Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Eastern Europe, but one analyst estimated that its share of Mondelez' annual expenditure has fallen from 60% of the total to around 20%.
Adbrands Weekly Update 6th Aug 2015: Carat is likely to be the biggest loser in the bankruptcy of movie producer Relativity Media, which filed last week for Chapter 11 protection. Though it scored a big hit a few years ago with the Bradley Cooper thriller Limitless, Relativity has suffered a series of box office disappointments over the past couple of years. With unpaid bills totalling almost $37m, Carat is the company's biggest unsecured creditor.
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