Coles Media adds more agency talent from Carat

Coles Media – Coles’ retail media business – has added more Dentsu talent to its stable, appointing Bethanie Blanchard as national strategy and planning lead.

Blanchard leaves Carat after four years, initially joining as strategy director, now departing as head of strategy in the agency’s Melbourne office. Dentsu said a replacement will be revealed imminently.

Blanchard the latest to join the Coles Media ranks

Blanchard becomes the third Carat alumni to join Coles Media, following Sam Hegg and Paul Brooks, as it builds up its competitor to Woolworths’ Cartology.

As strategy and planning lead, Blanchard will report directly to Hegg.

General manager of Coles Media, Paul Brooks told Mumbrella: “Retail Media in Australia is set for a huge period of evolution and growth and Coles Media will look to spearhead that growth in this sector. To help us achieve our ambitions; people and capability are crucial to unlocking that potential.”

“Beth Blanchard will join our centre of excellence and accelerate our capability, she is an outstanding talent and will help us deliver our supplier partners with a consistent and unified interface to unlock multichannel media solutions. We can’t wait for her to join!”

Chief strategy officer at Carat Australia, Danni Wright told Mumbrella: “Carat is thrilled to have bolstered their Melbourne leadership position in the critical discipline of media strategy with a new appointment to lead the market.”

“It’s been a joy to watch Beth grow with us over the last three years and we wish her all the best in her new role.”

Brooks spoke to Mumbrella for an in-depth look at retail media’s emergence in the Australian market, as Coles looks to join Woolworths in leading the charge.

Dentsu currently holds Woolworths’ media account, with its bespoke agency Woolworths@Dentsu operating out of the retailer’s innovation hub in Sydney. Both Hegg and Brooks previously worked with Woolworths during their time at Dentsu.

Coles is searching for a new bespoke agency provider, going to market initially with an invitation to WPP, Omnicom, and Publicis. Mumbrella then reported on Monday that WPP had been asked to withdraw, citing a future conflict of interest, then reported Accenture Interactive had been invited to replace WPP.


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