Renault retains Carat for £350m business

Carat has successfully defended its £350 million pan-European Renault media planning and buying account.

The French car giant has signed a further three-year contract with the Aegis-owned media network, quashing speculation that it would move its business into KR Media, the agency headed by the former heads of Aegis Europe, Eryck Rebbouh and Bruno Kemoun.

Renault kicked off the review last October from its Paris headquarters (Campaign, 7 October 2004). It had used Carat as its media agency of record for more than three years and the review was linked to a series of senior departures from Carat's French office, including its president, Henri Le Menestrel.

Following successful presentations to senior Renault management, the company has now opted to extend its contract with the agency.

Accounting for an annual media spend of £160 million, France is Renault's biggest market. In comparison, the UK spend is £60 million, making it one of the top 15 advertisers. The company recently produced first-quarter profits of 9.84 billion euros. This was slightly down on last year, following tough trading conditions in Europe.

- Comment, p64.