Carat retains $50m Medibank and AHM account

The Dentsu Aegis Network’s Carat has been reappointed as the media agency of record for Australia’s largest private health insurer, Medibank, and AHM following a competitive pitch process – an account worth up to $50m.

Carat said a team from across the holding company will be responsible for media strategy, planning and buying, digital performance and data analytics across the Medibank and AHM brands until 2022.

“We are proud to be continuing our partnership with Medibank – an iconic Australian business that is highly sophisticated and customer-focused,” said Joseph Pardillo, MD at Carat Melbourne.

“A dedicated group of specialist capabilities structured around Medibank’s needs will enable both the Medibank and AHM businesses to continue to grow and engage more closely with their customers. We are thrilled to be partnering for the future.”

It’s a much needed win for one of DAN’s most troubled agencies, having lost a number of high-profile staff and accounts recently.

Despite hiring Sue Squillace as its new CEO, starting in September, Alex Smith (client lead), Marnie McKeown (head of content services and media integration), Dick Laurie (strategy director) and Tom Andrews (returning to lead the $19.4m Disney account), and promoting Danni Wright to a national role, a number of staff movements have impacted the agency.

Previous CEO Paul Brooks left to join Nine, while it’s also lost CMO Andrea Rule (moving to LinkedIn), head of strategy Alex James (shifting to a similar role at PHD), head of digital Michael Corry (jumping ship to 303 Mullen Lowe), the former head of the Disney account, Laura Bartal (becoming partner at Lacuna), and MD Simon Williams.

Williams’ role was called into question when Squillace was named CEO, but his departure was in contradiction to DAN’s assertion that Williams would stay in his role following Squillace’s appointment.

Carat has also lost big accounts such as Super Retail GroupVirgin AustraliaAsahiMondelēz InternationalAmart, and Bega, attempting to counteract them with the addition of United AirlinesBeacon Lighting, Event Hospitality and Entertainment, and Grill’d.

Holding group DAN is still in a state of flux, with CEO Henry Tajer continuing his restructure that started in May with a number of redundancies. Nick Swifte and Indy Khabra were the latest redundancies, exiting the business this week.


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