Media statement 26 April 2010
CARAT WINS MEDIA AGENCY OF THE YEAR AWARD
Carat SA, part of the global Aegis media group, has been named SA’s top Media Agency.
The company which in the past year rose from relative obscurity to winning almost R1-billion in new business was named Media Agency of the Year at the coveted annual AdReview awards ceremony in Johannesburg last week. It was also the only large full-service agency to be awarded an AdReview “AA” rating.
Under the leadership of SA Managing Director Quinton Jones, the business has grown its staff complement by 170% to handle the new business wins - which include Cell C, Old Mutual, Nokia, Woolworths, Johnson & Johnson (won in 2008 – billing started 2009), Virgin Active, the Democratic Alliance’s election campaign, Picardi Rebel Liquors, Pirelli, Go GP Racing and Calvin Klein, among others.
Carat opened a Johannesburg office in August 2009, which in five months gained billings of R563m. And it launched an Africa network, with hubs in Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya, allowing clients to access a broad spectrum of markets throughout the continent.
Jones says the new business wins are largely due to the company’s globally proven strategic approach, which provides the best media solutions for clients.
“Advertising, public relations and marketing agencies have become increasingly specialised. This has made media agencies like Carat increasingly strategic. We have become the conductors of our clients marketing orchestras and it’s our job to most effectively harness the best channels for clients’ brand messages.
“Our success in new business pitches is testimony to the fact that the industry understands the value of our approach. We have become a strong group with an innovative and clear direction.”
In addition to the company’s strategic thrust, he notes that it is its ability to attract and develop good staff which sets it apart.
“We are delighted to receive such industry recognition but are taking the accolades seriously and will not rest on our laurels. The hard work has just begun. We’re in a very competitive industry. One continually needs to innovate for the challenges of tomorrow if you want to stay relevant today.”
Jones says among the major challenges facing the industry are globalisation and the commoditising of media.
“The advent of campaign integration across all media channels and digitalisation has caused consumers to want more personalisation. Today one needs to have a very clear understanding of consumer habits and insights. It’s no longer just about buying media across the board.”
He says the industry is in a very exciting space at the moment, with more challenges and tougher trading conditions than ever.
“The current trend towards procurement-driven agency selection has forced us to simplify systems so that clients can make better like-for-like comparisons. Yet the competitive world requires companies to differentiate themselves in order to remain competitive.
“Globalisation – both seen against the backdrop of worldwide big brands as well as worldwide servicing and fee agreements - has put significant pressure on agencies to deliver value to local markets.”
“Against this background, Carat’s unique personalised and innovative approach, when combined with the strength of our group, stands us in good stead to continue to meet the challenges within a highly competitive industry,” he concludes.
Note to editors:
Founded in 1968, Carat has become the world’s largest independent media agency network. Operating as an independent, it is free from agency ties, which allows it to focus on the best media solutions for its clients.
It is part of the Aegis Group Plc which is listed on the London Stock Exchange. Globally Aegis employs 15,200 people and it is structured around 2 pioneering business units – Aegis Media and Synovate.
The Group has outperformed the global media sector for the last 11 years. It is the only global marketing services group focused on the two most strategically significant disciplines – media communications and market research.
The Carat network spans 70 countries with 5220 people worldwide.
The top team at Carat SA (from left to right): Brett Hobbs, Lerina Bierman, Quinton Jones, Lwandile Qokweni and Gerrit Visser
ISSUED BY: Lange Strategic Communications
ON BEHALF OF: Carat SA
For more information contact Quinton Jones at 021-5266302 or 0822900429 or Stella Wink at Lange Strategic Communications on 021 448 7407