Philips Electronics has awarded its $600 million consolidated global media buying and planning business to Aegis Group's Carat. The company was competing for the business with Interpublic Group of Cos., Initiative, and the Philips incumbent, Bcom3 Group's MediaVest. Bcom3 Group's MediaVest will hold on to the media buying and planning in Latin America for the time being. Carat will eventually take over Latin America also.
The win by Carat makes the media independent into a $3.5 billion powerhouse in the U.S. Carat has just come off besting WPP Group's larger MindShare, New York, for Pfizer's estimated $700 million media buying and planning account. Carat, which already had Pfizer's $300 million account, added the $400 million in billings that belonged to the Pfizer-acquired Warner-Lambert Co.
In the case of Philips, Carat already handles their media in all of Europe, a consolidated assignment it won in 1996. Meanwhile, David Verklin, CEO of Carat North America, recently expanded his duties to cover Latin America, and is positioned to lead a transfer of the Philips business there, to his agency.
The review took an odd twist two weeks ago. MediaVest had been dropped from the review early in the game and then was asked back in as a finalist. MediaVest, handled broadcast buying for consumer electronics and personal-care products.
The media review, launched in February, originally included WPP Group's MindShare, Omnicom's OMD, and Zenith Media, jointly owned by Cordiant Communications Group and Publicis Groupe.
Late last year, the Dutch marketer stunned the industry when it yanked its creative assignments from Euro RSCG without warning, consolidating the same, at Omnicom Group's DDB Worldwide and D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles. DMB&B is a Bcom3 sibling to MediaVest.
DDB is Philips' main creative agency in the U.S., having won its estimated $300 million consumer electronics and corporate group accounts last December. DMB&B handle domestic appliances, including Norelco and Philishave, lighting and medical systems.