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Aegis wins Kraft Europe from Mindshare and Starcom and trounces marcoms rivals on growth

What you’d do to be Jerry Buhlmann.

The former BBJ founder has seen one-time colleague Nick Brien (the other B, nobody seems to know who J was) bounced from the job of CEO of McCann this week (with a $4m pay-off) while Jerry is lording it over Carat which has won the bulk of Kraft’s European media buying from WPP’s Mindshare and Publicis Groupe’s Starcom.

Also Jerry has reported organic growth for Aegis of 6.3 per cent in the third quarter, way ahead of bigger rivals WPP and Omnicom who wallowed at around two per cent.

So everything’s fine in the Aegis garden, except for the fact that it’s about to be sold for £3.2bn cash to Japan’s Dentsu, unless the Chinese throw a spanner in the works, which they’re trying to.

The Chinese like the Japanese even less these days because of a dispute over some small islands in the region and may block Aegis’s ambitions in China even if the deal goes through, which it will probably will.

But Buhlmann and co won’t mind that too much.

The problem for Dentsu is how to hang on to these guys who now have bulging bank accounts and might not take to being owned by a massive marcoms conglomerate based in Tokyo.

Aegis, whose biggest brand is the France-born Carat media buying operation, is both the biggest and wiliest specialist media operation around. Some of its commission deals with media owners would make the average creative agency boss wake up and think he or she had gone to heaven.

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Will the good times continue to roll?

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.
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