Nissan has terminated its contracts with all its European media
planning and buying agencies and is poised to centralise the business
into a new entity, TBWA.OMD, led by Manning Gottlieb Media in the
The move means that Carat UK will lose the pounds 23 million business.
Nissan’s UK media planning and buying will instead be channelled into
MGM, whose founding partner, Colin Gottlieb, is thought to have been the
chief architect of TBWA.OMD. Carat has handled the UK account fully
since January 1998, following the closure of the incumbent, Eurospace,
which was a joint venture between Carat and TBWA.
TBWA.OMD’s business is expected to cover all the key European markets,
including France, Italy, Germany and Spain. It will be worth up to
dollars 200 million.
The rationalisation is part of the so-called ’Revival Plan’ instigated
by Carlos Ghosn, the new chief operating officer of Nissan, who came in
from Renault when the latter took a controlling stake in the former last
April. As part of cost cutting, he announced the closure of four
factories and the loss of 21,000 jobs. He also demanded a simplification
of all of the car manufacturer’s global suppliers, which included
The loss is a further blow to the Carat group, whose subsidiary, BBJ,
lost the pounds 89 million Volkswagen-Audi Group German and UK media
planning and buying last year to MediaCom.
MGM refused to comment on the shift, but the agency is known to have
staffed up in anticipation of the extra business.
Senior appointments include Julian Smallwood, an account director from
Carat, who will work with Colin Gottlieb on the European business, and
Starcom’s John Dore, thought to be lined up for UK responsibilities.