Carat had been widely rumoured to be close to securing the brief as it handles the media for Nissan's larger sister motor manufacturer Renault, which owns a 37% stake in Nissan.
Carat had also already worked with the Japanese car manufacturer in some European markets.
However, it is believed that OMD has managed to secure the Nissan business for at least the next 12 months. It is a significant decision for OMD Europe, which is currently defending its Sony and Gillette accounts in pan-European pitches.
Nissan kicked off a review of its media arrangements earlier this year in a head-to-head with Carat. In the UK, Manning Gottlieb OMD's hold on the £25m media planning and buying brief was under threat -- its contract with Nissan ran until the end of 2002.
The resignation by Carat of the Peugeot-Citroen £185m media account in July 2001 sparked intense speculation that the Aegis network would take the Nissan account. OMD went on to pitch for the £500m pan-European Peugeot-Citroen media business and picked up the account in the UK, Germany, Switzerland and Hungary. It already handled the brand in Italy.
Creative for Nissan is handled by the TBWA network, from its Paris office. In Europe, a specialised TBWA OMD network was created to house the Nissan media business when OMD was appointed in 2000.
No one at OMD or Carat was available for comment as Campaign went to press.
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