Carat wins $150 million SCA assignment

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GOTEBORG -- Swedish paper products marketer SCA is to pump its entire $150 million European media budget through Carat International in its first media consolidation in the region.

Carat - whose pitch was a joint effort between its Scandinavian, German, French, Eastern European, U.K. and London based Carat International offices - is understood to have triumphed over CIA Medianetwork International and Optimum Media Direction.

SCA's biggest brands in Europe are Kleenex and Libresse. The move to consolidate follows a restructuring within the company earlier this year and reflects a desire to make its media systems more effective. Previously, SCA worked with different agencies - including Carat, CIA and Initiative Media Worldwide - on a market-bymarket basis. It's unlikely the company will use pan-European media, however.

The aim is to provide SCA with central strategy, coordination and leadership, combined with local planning, buying and implementation, according to Brian Jacobs, managing director of Carat International, who was involved in the pitch.

The assignment will be led from Stockholm-based Carat Scandinavia, under Patrick Stahle, general manager international, with back-up from Carat International. Carat previously handled SCA in some Scandinavian countries.

Mr. Jacobs claims Carat won the budget largely on the basis of its coordinated approach to international business and local strength. The media independent recently employed management consultants Andersen Consulting, London, to help develop proprietary tools and systems for handling international clients. "This [win] really was a group effort," he says. "The days of winning in one country and getting all the rest no longer happen."

The SCA assignment follows the network's appointment to Adidas' $84 million Continental Europe media account (Ad Age, October 5). "We've spent a lot of time making sure we have a leading edge product internationally," says Mr. Jacobs. "Now that has borne fruit twice in one week."

Copyright October 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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