Carat beats M4C to £140m Govt media buying business

Dentsu Aegis Network's Carat has won the Government's £140 million media buying business from WPP's dedicated shop M4C, pending any official objections.

Army: media campaigns will now be bought by Carat
Army: media campaigns will now be bought by Carat

In preparation for the tender, Carat had hired Mark Cross and Jon Hopkins, the former communications planning director and deputy director of strategy and planning respectively at COI.

The agency will now handle all of the Government’s media buying for the next four years.

M4C, Omnicom Media Group and ZenithOptimedia were also involved in the process.

The media buying account covers all government campaigns, including domestic work such as Public Health England and the armed forces, as well as oversees activity such as VisitBritain.

All those involved in the pitch are now believed to be in the "cooling off" period, whereby any major issues or objections can be raised before Carat is officially appointed. The formal appointment is due to be made on 15 September.

WPP created M4C from a consortium of specialists from MediaCom, Mindshare and Mediaedge:cia when it pitched for the business in 2009/10. Peter Kemp, the M4C managing director, is a former planner at MEC.

The future for M4C and its team of more than 40 staff is unclear, but it is likely that they will be subject to Tupe employment legislation.

The process was handled by the Crown Commercial Service and, unlike previous pitches, did not involve an e-auction.

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