Carat International has been confirmed as the winner of BMW’s
pounds 100 million European media buying account after a head-to-head
pitch against Zenith Media.
Carat will channel the pan-European business through the London offices
of Carat UK. The appointment had been rumoured for several weeks, but
was left in some doubt by the agency’s appointment last week to handle
PSA’s Peugeot and Citroen brands in the UK.
Confirmation of the BMW win was thought to have been delayed in the
expectation that the Peugeot Citroen result could produce a major
conflict issue in the UK.
However, Carat’s strategy of splitting the Peugeot Citroen business
between Carat and sister agency BBJ proved to be enough to satisfy any
client concerns. Citroen’s UK planning and buying account will sit
alongside the BMW business within the Carat group, while BBJ will handle
The move is a significant blow to Zenith, which has held BMW’s pounds 15 million UK buying business for the past four years.
However, WCRS, the UK planning incumbent, will retain its slice of the
business courtesy of BMW’s decision to separate its media tasks across
Carat had previously handled the car manufacturer’s media buying
business in France and had a role in the key German media account
through HCCS plus, a joint venture with the German agency Mediaplus.
BMW sources said that the company was ironing out the finer points of
Carat’s contract as regards Peugeot Citroen, but indicated that the
appointment would go ahead. Carat’s appointment is expected to come into force on 1 January 2001. No-one from the agency could comment as
Campaign went to press.