Bertelsmann reviews £50m media

BMG Entertainment International, the music division of media giant Bertelsmann AG, is reviewing its £50m pan-European media account for its record labels.

It is understood that BMP OMD, Carat and MindShare will compete for the centralised business, thought to revolve around the advertising for labels such as RCA and Arista. Bertelsmann represents a wide variety of pop stars and bands – including Whitney Houston, the Eurythmics, Another Level and Five.

Carat London handles EMI Records but the agency group will try to avoid potential conflict by fielding its second media brand, BBJ Media Services, for the BMG business in this market.

A spokesman for BMG Entertainment International refused to comment on the review.

German-based Bertelsmann is in its 164th year of operation and has annual sales of about $16bn (£10bn).

It is owned by two independent foundations and the founder Mohn family. The company has significant interests in all areas of media including book, magazine and newspaper publishing, music, television, online, film and radio.

With more than 300 individual companies, Bertelsmann employs nearly 60,000 people in 50 countries. It owns 50 per cent of the US online book store barnesandnoble.com.

It also runs online book store BOL.com, which launched last March in the UK.

This autumn, BOL plans to sell music online as the media store develops more content and new links with other online sites.

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