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 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.
Adbrands Weekly Update 21st May 2015: Capping a series of giant media reviews announced over the past few months, Procter & Gamble joins the party with a review of its mammoth North American business, worth almost $2.7bn in billings. The main US incumbent is Publicis Groupe's Starcom MediaVest, which is already having a pretty dismal 2015. Even a retention is likely to entail a sizeable cut in fees, and the group is also defending a similar review by Coca-Cola. SMV faces a stiff challenge from Carat, which manages planning for selected P&G brands in the US as well as buying in Canada, and has been on a new business roll for the past couple of years. The capture of P&G would be Carat's biggest victory over Starcom MediaVest in the US since it poached the General Motors account in 2012. WPP's MediaCom is also on the group roster for some international markets (including Puerto Rico), but most observers expect this to be a shoot-out between Publicis Groupe and Dentsu Aegis.
Adbrands Weekly Update 29th Jan 2015: Several marketing agencies could be at risk from bad debts associated with the closure of retail giant Target's operations in the Canada. Target owes a combined total of $3.4bn in connection with that business, including huge sums to suppliers such as Procter & Gamble (almost $690k) and Unilever ($338k). There are hundreds of creditors in total, but the single biggest is media agency Carat, owed more than $9m in media buys, while MDC's KBS and 72andSunny are out of pocket for almost $850k between them. Recruitment advertising agency TMP Worldwide is owed more than $440k and marketing communications firm Veritas $305k. Creditors are unlikely to get full payment for their bills, and will have to settle for a substantial discount, if indeed there is anything left in the pot after liquidation.
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