Carat Group UK is centralising trading negotiations with major media owners across its three media companies, Carat, BBJ Media and Feather Brooksbank.
All three businesses will remain as separate operating companies and the change will not affect their independent strategic media planning and buying operations.
The move follows recent consolidations and changes in media ownership, with Carlton and Granada now dominant. Carat UK, a subsidiary of Aegis Group, says the position was “further crystallised” by Carlton’s acquisition of HTV and their appointment to handle advertising sales for Scottish Media Group.
Ray Kelly, chairman of Carat Group UK and chief executive of Carat Northern Europe, says: “We are concerned about media consolidation. Having discussed the implications with our customers we have decided to deploy our strength in a way which allows us to continue to deliver exceptional media value to our clients.
“It is clear size matters to media owners. It must also matter to those who buy from them.”
Carat Group UK estimates its total billings for 2001 across Carat, BBJ and Feather Brooksbank will reach more than £1bn, making it the largest media buyer in the UK with a market share of about 13 per cent in most media markets, and 16 per cent in TV.