DAN’s Carat and Columbus extend partnership with L’Oreal

The Dentsu Aegis Network’s Carat and Columbus have extended their long-term relationship with L’Oréal, one of the world’s biggest beauty companies.

DAN has had the L’Oréal account for six years, after taking over from incumbent UM in 2013. Both Carat and Columbus will continue to deliver strategy, buying, planning, search and performance capabilities across Australia and New Zealand.

Recently, Carat retained the $50m Medibank and AHM account, and was appointed to Vodafone’s global account. The wins are a boost for the holding group and its agencies after a period of change.

Mitchell McBeath, Columbus’ national managing director, resigned from his position this month, while Carat has faced a number of staff and major account losses, including Super Retail GroupVirgin AustraliaAsahiMondelēz InternationalAmart, and Bega.

Carat managing director Simon Williams departed in July after Sue Squillace was named CEO. But despite hiring Squillace, 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 losses have impacted the agency. 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), and the former head of the Disney account, Laura Bartal (becoming partner at Lacuna).

The broader network continues to undergo a significant restructure under Henry Tajer, who was named CEO in January.

In late May, a few months into Tajer’s tenure, DAN made a number of executives redundant, including Adrian Roeling, president of Amplifi, Nick Seckold, managing director of iProspect, and Andrew Hewett, head of public affairs and communications for DAN.

Amplifi’s head of programmatic Luke Manley was made redundant in July, following Michael Bass’ appointment as Amplifi’s chief investment officer two weeks earlier, who stepped into the role following Ashley Earnshaw becoming CEO of DAN media agency Vizeum.

Last month, Angela Tangas became the holding group’s chief commercial officer, while Daniel Isaac was appointed as Dentsu X’s CEO. Also in August, Erik Hallander was promoted to Isobar ANZ CEO, ahead of the departure of DAN veterans Nick Swifte and Indy Khabra last week. Earlier this week, Scott Abbott became general manager of Scorch iProspect.

DAN officially launched Merkle in the Australian market in March last year, which saw Columbus rebranded to ‘Columbus, a Merkle Company’.


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