Carat Hires New Head of Research, Consumer Insights

Mike Hess Leaves OMD for Carat Exec VP Post

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Mike Hess, former director-global research and communication insights for Omnicom Group's OMD, will join Aegis' Carat as exec VP-research, marketing science and consumer insights. Carat President Martin Cass believes that in the newly created position, Mr. Hess will "significantly upgrade our whole business."

Mr. Hess spent nearly five years in his role at OMD, leading the media agency to partner with Yahoo on two global studies, and most recently with AOL's Platform-A on another. He worked to integrate advanced analytics with media research, especially in the area of segmentation. Mr. Hess will continue those efforts at Carat, but keep his focus on the U.S.

"It's a good fit because the center of [Carat's] platform is consumer research and using research and insights to drive the strategy," Mr. Hess said.

His assessment is precisely in line with Mr. Cass, who said that understanding the consumer was of utmost importance to the agency since he took over last fall. "I think it's fantastic that we were able to attract that sort of talent," he said of Mr. Hess and the team that he will lead there.

"Mike brings over 20 years experience to the role having worked at blue chip clients and leading research companies," Mr. Cass wrote in an e-mail distributed to Carat employees. "He has been widely published and is considered a thought leader in our field."

Mr. Cass believes Mr. Hess will help Carat's existing team to "shake up the market in a big way."

Mr. Hess was also recently elected chair of the Nielsen Company's Council for Research Excellence and is co-chair for the Media Effectiveness Council at the Advertising Research Foundation.

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