Carat retains Woolworths media account

By (incomplete) | 19 August 2014

Woolworths will tomorrow confirm that Carat remains its media agency of record with the Dentsu-owned unit retaining its biggest client.

Both OMD and MediaCom have been informed that they have not won the business and Carat has announced the win to staff internally. An official announcement from the retailer will be made tomorrow.

Keeping the $240m business, one of the biggest accounts in Australia, is a major coup for Carat and the news brings to close industry speculation about whether the retailer would stick or twist. Woolworths last week denied that it had made a decision on the account and that Carat was the preferred choice.

That Woolworths was reviewing emerged in February following an earlier audit.

The pitch process was disrupted after the retailer appointed a new CMO, Tony Phillips, and changed its creative agency partner, swapping out Droga5 for Leo Burnett Sydney.

Although it has made some recent management changes and hires, Carat will now likely need to staff up at account level to service the business after holding off on permanent contracts pending the outcome of the review.

Updated: 20/08/2014

Woolworths has confirmed that it is to retain Carat, subject to contract. See the statement below.

Woolworths Limited (Woolworths) has announced its intention to appoint Carat Australia (Carat) as its lead media agency following an extensive tender process.
The appointment is subject to agreement on final contracts.
Carat will provide strategy, planning and buying services for the majority of Woolworths’ media requirements under a three year contract.
Mitchell/Carat have been Woolworths’ incumbent media agency for more than 10 years. Under the new arrangements Carat will engage a renewed and larger team to meet Woolworths’ need for greater focus on strategy and planning.
Carat has strengthened its leadership team with a number of recent senior appointments.

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