Carat under threat as Asda considers reassigning media

Asda is in talks with media agencies with a view to calling a pitch

for its pounds 23 million business later this year.

The supermarket retailer, which was acquired for pounds 7 billion by the

US retail giant Wal-Mart in July 1999, has held talks with a number of

agencies although no pitch date has been set. Carat is the incumbent on

the business.

It is believed that Asda may choose to review its UK media as part of a

wider pitch for a European advertising task. Wal-Mart's acquisition of

Asda formed a central plank in its plans to broaden its presence beyond

North America and establish a strong base in Europe.

It gained a presence in Germany through the acquisition of the Wertkauf

and Interspar chains.

It may therefore seek to invite agencies with a strong presence in

Europe to pitch for the business.

Carat has worked on the account since 1994. Publicis is the creative

agency and has held the business for 11 years.

Asda denied that there are any plans for a pitch.

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