Diageo awards Carat 60m task

Carat has beaten MindShare to become Diageo’s dominant UK media agency with more than 60m-worth of business.

The Aegis-owned agency beat WPP’s MindShare to the 28.6m implementational planning and buying for Diageo’s Guinness GB and Burger King UK divisions, which it will add to the Diageo business it already handles, estimated at more than 30m.

At an earlier stage of the review, Carat was shortlisted against MindShare and Zenith, incumbent agencies for Guinness and Burger King respectively. But Zenith later withdrew because of a conflict with its Carlsberg-Tetley account.

The moves mean that Carat will be the only UK media buying agency for Diageo, which was formed in May last year when Guinness and Grand Metropolitan merged.

The agency already has the strategic and implementation planning and buying accounts for the Pillsbury division, which spent 8.5m and includes Haagen-Dazs, Green Giant and Old El Paso.

In July, United Distillers & Vintners – the division formed from the merger of Guinness and Grand Met’s spirit divisions – put the lion’s share of its 25m media buying into Carat.

A spokesman for Diageo says: “It makes sense for the divisions to share best practice in areas such as media.

“We’ve been pleased with the performance of our incumbent agencies, but we believe Carat is the best option as we move the business forward.”

It is understood that Diageo is considering centralising its media buying arrangements on a market-by-market basis.

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