Zenith Media has slipped from the number one position on the AC
Nielsen MMS media billings league for the first time in the agency's
Figures for August 2000 to July 2001, released this week, show that
Zenith has been overtaken by Carat, which takes the top spot with
billings of £552.1 million. Zenith's £548 million billings
see it drop to second with a 6.1 per cent market share, compared with
Carat's 6.2 per cent.
However, figures recorded by MMS since July are expected to show Zenith
clawing back the number one slot.
The narrowing of the contest reflects the contrasting fortunes of the
agencies in 2000, when Carat grabbed a number of high-spending
automobile accounts, including BMW, whose European business was
centralised into the agency from Zenith.
In addition, Zenith saw the Bristol Myers-Squibb business centralised
into Starcom MediaVest while Hewlett-Packard's £100 million global
account went to Optimedia.
Carat's position will not be affected by its split from Peugeot Citroen,
since the £75 million account was allocated to BBJ in the
Simon Marquis, Zenith's managing director, said: "We've never made being
number one our sole proposition. Being big is certainly part of it but
being highly skilled in planning and buying is more important."