Danone Picks Carat For North American Media

Yogurt Giant Started Global Review in April

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Yogurt giant Danone Groupe has selected Carat as its new media agency in North America as part of an ongoing global media-agency evaluation in more than 20 global markets.

A spokesman for the U.S. division, known as Dannon, confirmed Carat as the winner, but declined further comment. The Dentsu-owned shop beat incumbent Havasand a team from WPP's Group M, which were also believed to be involved in the pitch, which began in April. The U.S. division includes the namesake yogurt brand, Activia, Stonyfield and Evian water. Dannon spent $86.2 million in measured media across its portfolio from January through Sept. 30, according to Kantar Media.

Dannon in 2009 held its last global review, in which it retained Havas Media, then known as MPG, in North America. Carat had supported Dannon's account in Canada before Havas took over all of North America in 2007.

The agency selection comes as Dannon in the U.S. continues to battle competitors Chobani and General Mills (Yoplait), for share in the growing Greek yogurt business. Dannon will promote its Oikos brand with a Super Bowl ad. Chobani will also appear in the big game.

Danone in October lowered its sales forecast for 2013 as a result of struggles in Asia. The company had to recall infant formula in eight Asian markets, including China, after a supplier warned in August that that some of its products might be contaminated with a bacteria. The warning was later lifted after it proved to be a false alarm, but the company's sales still fell as a result.

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