CARAT (striver)

Close in key reviews, shop looks to show off communications planning

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Last year ended with a whimper for Carat, whose biggest victory, October's win of Wal-Mart's $580 million account, vanished when the retailer fired marketing exec (and champion) Julie Roehm and threw the account into review a second time in December. Although was a finalist in such large 2006 reviews as Miller Brewing Co. and ConAgra, the agency failed to convert those into scores.

The agency kept Adidas and won the sports giant's acquisition, Reebok, in a review; losses included Energizer Holdings, CBS, Amp'd Mobile and Pfizer consumer business. At deadline, it was a finalist for Philips Electronics North America.

During his first full year at USA as pres-ident, Ray Warren, who joined the agency from OMD USA in mid-2005, bolstered management by promoting insiders including Ronnie Beason, exec VP-director of planning, and Mike Haggerty, exec VP-East Coast managing director. The question for '07: Will Carat, a standout in the recent past due to its strength in communications planning, regain its prominence?
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