Aegis' Carat USA is undergoing a handful of top-level management shifts, effective July 1, as it aims to maintain the new-business momentum it has experienced over the past 18 months.
Carat USA President Martin Cass will move into an Aegis U.S. media role, working on "a project for a new-client service." The agency plans to announce more details about the project in the next few weeks, said Nigel Morris, who was appointed Aegis U.S. CEO two years ago. Mr. Cass will build a new team and continue to report to Mr. Morris, who will announce Mr. Cass' title in the near future.
Doug Ray, exec VP and managing director at Carat USA, has been the lead on accounts such as Procer & Gamble, Diageo and Smuckers, and will replace Mr. Cass as president of the firm. Steven Feuling will also be promoted from managing director, East, to the newly created role of chief client officer. The role extends his management responsibilities across Carat USA's full client portfolio. Mr. Morris said that the firm is not yet announcing replacements for Mr. Ray or Mr. Feuling.
During the past year, Carat USA, which represents about 30% of Aegis in North America, has added about $2 billion in new business, Mr. Morris told Ad Age . Wins include Beiersdorf, JM Smuckers, Red Bull, Relativity Media, Diageo, Walt Disney Park & Resorts and Home Depot. It also held onto the $1.2 billion Pfizer business after a review. According to the Ad Age DataCenter , in 2010 Carat achieved $500 million in worldwide revenue, an increase of 3.1% over the year prior. Of that $500 million, $80 million came from the U.S. operation, which grew 6.7% in 2010.
The timing and changes can be attributed to increased confidence at the agency, as compared to a few years ago when it lost a few accounts, including Hyundai and Walmart. Mr. Morris added that the timing of this announcement is also in line with shifts in the media market: "The market is having to change in response to very significant changes in consumer behavior as it relates to media and the capability that media has to influence not just how people feel with brands but how they transact with brands. We've developed a market-leading product and we're focused on keeping that lead and [we] keep developing our product."