Carat opens central trading negotiations

LONDON - Carat Group UK is opening central trading negotiations with media owners, which incorporate its Carat, BBJ Media and Feather Brooksbank agencies.

The move is in response to consolidation through mergers and acquisitions among media owners. It gives Carat greater weight against such merged giants as United News & Media and Granada, or the newly expanded Carlton since its acquisition of HTV.

Ray Kelly, chairman of Carat Group UK and chief executive of Carat Northern Europe, said: "We are concerned about media consolidation and having discussed the implications with our customers we have, with their support, decided to deploy our strength in a way that allows us to continue to deliver exceptional media value to our clients."

According to the most recent AC Neilsen MMS figures the combined billings of the three agencies amount to £733 million. Of that, Carat bills £536.72 million. It is the second biggest billing agency after Zenith Media, which billed £598 million in the year to September 2000.

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