NEWS: YMG Carat reels after SmithKline loss

YMG Carat has been rocked by the loss of its pounds 6 million slice of Sterling Healthcare work following SmithKline Beecham’s decision this week to centralise its pounds 34 million UK media account into MediaCom.

YMG Carat has been rocked by the loss of its pounds 6 million slice of

Sterling Healthcare work following SmithKline Beecham’s decision this

week to centralise its pounds 34 million UK media account into

MediaCom.



The loss wipes out a sizeable portion of YMG’s total billings and

sources believe that Carat will now be forced to make a decision about

exactly what it does with the UK brand.



One insider said: ‘It’s a significant part of YMG Carat’s billings and I

would be seriously worried.’



MediaCom already handles pounds 28 million worth of SmithKline Beecham

work, including the Beechams, Oxy 10, Aquafresh and Macleans brands. YMG

had handled the Sterling Healthcare business, which was bought by

SmithKline last April.



SmithKline Beecham’s UK advertising director, John Blakemore, would not

comment at length about why he had chosen to centralise the business

with MediaCom, saying only that he expected a ‘great service’ from the

agency. He added that it was too early to say whether there would be big

changes in the way the business is handled.



Andrew Goulborn, deputy managing director of MediaCom, who heads the

SmithKline Beecham account, said: ‘We’re delighted to still be working

with SmithKline and to have picked up some additional business.’



SmithKline Beecham first kicked off a media review in the UK in

February, three months after a country-by-country rethink was ordered

across Europe.



Decisions are still pending in the Netherlands, Scandinavia and Spain. A

pitch is scheduled to take place in France in three weeks between the

Network, Carat and MediaCom.



Ray Kelly, chief executive of Carat UK, and Mark Jamison, managing

director of YMG Carat, were unavailable for comment as Campaign went to

press.



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