Philips Sticks With Carat for Media Buying

Believes Agency Can Carry 'Simplicity' Themes Across Global Marketplace

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NEW YORK ( -- Philips Electronics wrapped its five-month-long global media review by retaining its incumbent, Aegis Group's Carat, according to the marketer.
Philips believes Carat will be able to execute its 'Simplicity' theme in buys globally.
Philips believes Carat will be able to execute its 'Simplicity' theme in buys globally.

The company, based in Amsterdam, kicked off the competition in mid-October, saying that the pace of change within the global-media environment "requires us to continuously challenge the way we deliver our brand promise," according to a statement issued at the time.

$105 million spent in U.S.
Philips' four lines of business are domestic appliances and personal care, lighting, medical systems and consumer electronics. The company spent $105 million in measured media in 2006, according to TNS, which covers U.S. spending only. Its Norelco brand garnered $26 million; Sonic Care toothbrush, $14 million; and digital TV, $10 million. Global spending was not available.

In December, Philips narrowed the number of contenders to four: Carat; Publicis Groupe's ZenithOptimedia; Omnicom Group's media group; and WPP Group's Mediaedge:cia. In February, two finalists, Carat and Mediaedge:cia, were named.

Agencies referred calls for comment to the client.

In the fall, an executive familiar with the marketers' thinking said Philips was happy with some of Carat's U.S. media-buying efforts, but found that ideas that worked in the U.S. did not translate well to the global marketplace. Some of those domestic efforts involved staging takeovers of available ad inventory around select content.

'60 Minutes' ad buy
For example, Philips last October bought all commercial time on an episode of CBS's "60 Minutes" and gave back 12 minutes of time so viewers could enjoy longer segments and fewer commercial breaks.

In a different execution, Carat teamed with Conde Nast's Gourmet and established Philips as the single sponsor of a 98-page supplement to the magazine that carried articles about eating in a more interesting ways -- many of which involved Philips' products, such as lighting. The event was carried into other media, such as events and podcasts. The latter carried excerpts from a panel discussion with Gourmet editor in chief Ruth Reichl.

Andrea Ragnetti, chief marketing officer, Royal Philips Electronics, said the review proved that Carat has strongly committed itself to build further on its creative strength and unleash significant new potential to help Philips express its brand promise "Sense and Simplicity" in new ways, "with high-quality outreach geographically."

"This outcome is also a reinforcement of our company vision towards becoming a market-driven company putting our consumer and the customer at the center of our media planning and strategy. ... With Carat we found a unified sense of direction around what we are striving to achieve through our consumer and customer-centric orientation in the new media environment," Mr. Ragnetti said.
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