Carat reshuffles Woolworths pack as pitching kicks off today

By Brendan Coyne | 12 March 2014

Carat has reshuffled its Woolworths pack as preliminary pitching for the $200 million piece of business kicks off today.

Previously responsible for the planning output across the Woolworths group, Michelle Hobbs has now been brought in to lead the account.

Currently head of planning and client service, Hobbs joined Carat Sydney a year ago from Naked, following stints at Bellamyhaden, Starcom and UM in the UK. Across those roles she worked with clients including GlaxoSmithKline, Goodman Fielder, Pepsi Australia, Weight Watchers and NRMA.

Carat ANZ boss Simon Ryan said Hobbs, with 14 years FMGC marketing and planning experience under her belt, was the "right person to be leading the charge on an account of the calibre and complexity of Woolworths".

It is understood that Bohemia, MediaCom, OMD and possibly one other agency are now moving into pitch phase with so-called chemistry meetings with Woolworths taking place today. Helen Lecopoulos, the former McDonald's head of media, is running the pitch, with Trinity P3 involved.

Should the account move it would likely lead to a spate of personnel movement within Sydney media agencies given the manpower required to service the business, which encompasses over 15 brands in all.

In the meantime, Carat has made a number of strategic hires and re-organised its Woolworths team.

Carat has also brought in extra firepower in the form of strategic consultants including ex-MEC and PMACG strategist Viki Hammond and ex-Quantium lead Chris Walton.

The agency is also thought to be reshuffling the pack at general manager level after Jason Dooris resigned to take up a yet to be announced new role.

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