UM Melbourne wins David Jones’ media account, ending Carat’s relationship with the retailer

David Jones has appointed UM Thrive, a bespoke division of UM Melbourne, to its media account. The account was formerly held by Carat.

UM Thrive was appointed after what the agency referred to as “a series of competitive presentations” and will be responsible with helping the department store “evolve and accelerate” its innovation, effectiveness and customer engagement.

“We are so excited to have won the David Jones media partnership. We share strong, common values and a proud ambition for the future to help DJs simplify our complex media landscape to help create the best consumer conversations,” said UM Australia’s CEO Fiona Johnston.

“I am incredibly proud of the brilliant humans in Melbourne who I know are equally proud to represent such an iconic brand.”

Georgia Hack, David Jones’ general manager of marketing, added: “David Jones is excited to be working with UM Thrive Melbourne. UM will bring us a high-quality of media counsel and implementation that will allow us to inspire and reach our customers in new and innovative ways.”

The appointment follows the sudden departure of David Jones CEO, David Thomas, earlier this year. Five days after his exit, directors Gail Kelly and Patrick Allaway also resigned with immediate effect and without explanation.

The account loss is another to add to Carat’s growing list. The Dentsu Aegis Network agency has lost big accounts such as Super Retail GroupVirgin AustraliaAsahiMondelēz InternationalAmart, and Bega. Despite the mounting losses, the agency has won United AirlinesBeacon Lighting, Event Hospitality and Entertainment and Grill’d, and retained the $50m Medibank account.

Today, it was also revealed that Carat’s ownership of the $19.4m Disney account has been severed, with the global entertainment behemoth appointing Publicis’ Zenith to its APAC account.

Sue Squillace began as Carat’s CEO in September, one of a number of DAN CEO Henry Tajer’s key hires as he continues to restructure the holding group.


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