Aegis media agencies Carat and Vizeum are continuing to boycott broadcaster Five over audience values, despite reports the situation has been resolved.
The two sides are understood to be “no closer” to resolving the stand-off than they were at the start of the year, although both sides are said to be in “continued” discussions.
The dispute is believed to relate to differing values of the Five audience. It means that clients such as the COI and Renault, which are handled by Carat, and Coca-Cola, Heinz and Eurostar, which are handled by Vizeum, have not appeared on the channel this year.
It was thought that Five had called on its German owner, RTL, to join the discussions and to put pressure on Carat’s pan-European clients and on Vizeum, as the channel’s incumbent media agency.
It was suggested that such a move would mean the agencies would allow ads back on the broadcaster this month, but this has failed to happen.
A source close to the situation suggests talks are still ongoing and are “not aggressive” but are no nearer to resolution than when negotiations began.
He adds that Aegis clients will not return to Five’s portfolio of channels until a deal is struck.
It is not the first time that Carat or Vizeum have been involved in spats over the terms of agency deals. Two years ago, the Aegis media companies sparred with Five and sales house IDS, now part of Virgin Media. The situation was resolved within weeks.
Traditionally, agencies tie up their deals with broadcasters before the end of January, and most agreements for the calendar year have already been concluded.