Carat, StarLink Continue New Biz Streak

Two big media shops--Carat USA and StarLink Worldwide--picked up plum media accounts on Tuesday while a third agency, StarLink sister unit Starcom USA, may be in jeopardy of losing one of its oldest.

In his first major new business win as president of the Carat Media Group Americas, President Ray Warren picked up the $60 million consolidated media planning and buying account for Paris-based wine and spirits marketer Pernod Ricard.

Pernod Ricard--which markets such premium brands as Glenlivet, Chivas Regal, Martell, and Stolichnaya--has been a Carat client for three years, but initiated a review to consolidate its media business after it acquired Allied Domecq earlier this year to become the second-largest wine and spirits manufacturer in North America, and one of the largest in the world.

Carat, the incumbent agency for Pernod Ricard, previously controlled about $22 million in media billings. Allied Domecq's incumbent, Zenith Media, had handled the rest. Carat's Warren attributed the win to the agency's approach to communications planning.



StarLink, meanwhile, was named media strategy and investment agency of record for Minneapolis-based Supercuts, a division of hair care giant Regis Corp. StarLink will handle all media strategy and investment for Supercuts' U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico operations, encompassing primarily local and national television and local radio. The assignment entails consumer-centric media strategies and investments for Supercuts' 2,013 retail locations.

The Supercuts business had been handled by WPP Group's MediaCom Worldwide unit--which did not participate in the review--and also included PHD, KSL, Cramer-Krasselt, and Laughlin Constable.

StarLink sister unit Starcom, meanwhile, will have to defend its $500 million U.S. media account for Kellogg, one of the agency's oldest clients, and one closely associated with Starcom and its predecessor agency, Leo Burnett's media department.

Adweek Tuesday reported that a Kellogg spokesperson confirmed that it is reviewing its "media buying practices in the U.S. as part of a normal business process to look for opportunities to strengthen our execution." The decision follows Kellogg's decision to retain WPP Group's MindShare unit in the U.K. last month.

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