Carat loses Dick Smith and head of TV as Woolworths battle looms

By Brendan Coyne | 3 March 2014

Dick Smith has ended its relationship with Carat. It is not yet clear whether the electronics retailer will repitch the account.

AdNews understands that the incumbent was notified of Dick Smith's decision last week.

According to Nielsen estimates, Dick Smith Electronics spent $13 million on main media in calendar year 2013, down from $16 million in 2012.

However, the firm has shifted dollars towards sports sponsorship and content marketing in recent years, so the true value of the account including search is likely to be north of $20 million.

Meanwhile, ZenithOptimedia has raided the Dentsu Aegis-owned network for its head of broadcast. Lorraine Woods, nee Furner, is set to join the Publicis-owned network as group investment director next month, following a four-year stint with Mitchells and Carat.

The client resignation and staff departure comes as Carat gears up to try and retain its biggest client – and former Dick Smith owner – Woolworths, with the agency understood to be bolstering its firepower with some strategic hires.

The retail giant is pitching its main media account, worth more than $200 million, with a decision anticipated within weeks.

Former McDonald's media and sponsorship manager Helen Lecopoulos is overseeing the Woolworths pitch, with Trinity P3 also involved.

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