Flynn: "We must make sure we have a consistent offering in Europe"
Aegis is to launch a new international network, Vizeum, and pool the global buying clout of both Vizeum and Carat under a single umbrella - Aegis Media.
Vizeum, expected to launch in quarter three this year, will unite Carat's second-string agencies across the globe, replacing the BBJ brand in the UK.
Doug Flynn, chief executive of Aegis Group, said: "We already have very strong national brands in most European markets, but we need to make sure we have a consistent offering."
The move will allow Aegis to retain its independence in a consolidating marketplace, while allowing it to compete against global advertising supergroups such as Interpublic, which pools the buying strength of its various media agency brands in a single global entity, Magna.
Flynn said Aegis Media would mirror Magna "conceptually" and allow Carat and Vizeum to compete more fully for clients seeking an international offering.
"From time to time, it has been difficult to compete for that kind of business," he said.
The proposition of the new network, Carat's "little brother", will be unveiled in the coming months, but Flynn said he expected current management structures to remain in place.
Eric Drancourt, chairman of Carat International, will become the chief executive officer of Vizeum, and Martyn Rattle, vice president of Carat International, its chief operating officer.
based in London, Vizeum will will roll out across Europe before launching globally.
Drancourt said: "We are beginning a process of consultation with clients who we will involve in the planning of the new network. Vizeum will create a new opportunity for advertisers to take advantage of independent media advice and implementation. Vizeum will draw competitive advantage from Aegis Media, which will allow us to use the superb processes, tools and significant media buying power of the group."