CHINA- Aegis Group plc announces that Carat China(凯络媒体),has created a media buying network across nine key primary and secondary cities in China as part of a US$12 million two year investment programme.

Carat China is expected to reach breakeven within 18 months. Carat established a strategic planning operation in China in1999 with offices in Shanghai and Hong Kong and appointed one of China’s most experienced media professionals Winnie Lee(李颖莊), former executive media director of Leo Burnett China and director of Starcom China, as Managing Director of Carat China in July 1999.

Carat China is the first international agency group to set up a network of offices outside of the main hubs of Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou as well as being the first full service media independent to operate in China.In addition to extending the services Carat China offers its local and regional clients, establishing a major presence in China will also allow Aegis to offer its growing number of global clients — such as Danone, Philips, Adidas and Coca Cola – access to the vast Chinese market.

During the first six months of the year Carat China won over US$ 16 million in new business including Henkel Cosmetics and Roche Pharmaceuticals, two of the Group’s major international clients.The need to establish a network of offices in China reflects the complex nature of media execution in China where there are thousands of local, provincial and national media vehicles scattered across a vast geography. Operational hubs located in the main provinces are essential to ensuring effective media buying execution, programme distribution and relationship building with local media owners.

Establishing a strong Chinese presence not only extends Carat’s geographical reach, it also complements Aegis’ recent acquisition of the leading Asian market research group Asia Market Intelligence (AMI), and is consistent with Aegis’ strategy of expanding the range of services it can offer its clients. AMI was acquired by Aegis in March 2000 and has a strong presence in China.

Commenting on the announcement, Doug Flynn, Chief Executive of Aegis said:

“This is a major step Aegis. China is the 10th largest advertising market in the world and is enjoying double digit growth. This move establishes Carat China as a major force in this market and puts it in a strong position to service Chinese, Asian and Western clients, including several of our leading global clients that need a sophisticated buying and planning service in this extremely complex market.

“WTO admission and normalising trade relations with the USA will clearly be a significant boost for China. Aegis already has a substantial and profitable presence in China through our market research subsidiary Asia Market Intelligence and this will now be complemented by Carat’s extended media communications operations.”



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