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Carat Names Cass U.S. President

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NEW YORK In an effort to address a challenging period at the shop's U.S. operation, Aegis Group's Carat replaced the region's president today. Out is Scott Sorokin. In is Carat evp Martin Cass, who reports to Sarah Fay, CEO Aegis Media North America.

Sorokin is departing the agency in what Fay termed a "mutual" decision.

The change is the latest twist in what has proven to be a tough year for the media-focused shop. It has lost over $1 billion in U.S. business this year and last month confirmed that 75 staffers would be laid off by year's end as part of a $15 million charge against earnings.

Most recently, Cass, a 20-year industry veteran, has been evp in charge of Carat's global Procter & Gamble account. Cass said he was convening with P&G executives to determine who would replace him in that role.

Cass, 41, joined Carat in 1995, serving first in the U.K. office as client director on Reckitt & Colman. In 1998, he became the youngest board director at Carat U.K. He served as communication planning director of Carat U.K. in 1999, helping to create its communications planning function. In 2004, he joined the New York office after leading the pitch team that won a share of P&G's strategic planning business. That business includes three of the client's five top-selling brands here, including Bounty, Pampers and Charmin.  Prior to joining Carat, Cass worked in the media department for agencies including Geers Gross Advertising and Euro RSCG.

Job one, said Cass, is to "make sure we have continuity, all our customers remain happy and really get my feet under the desk to ensure that I understand the business and exactly what's going on" throughout the Carat USA operation.

Commenting on the promotion, Fay said: "As a leader at our organization who has served in a variety of roles, Martin has an in-depth knowledge of our culture and clients. He has been incredibly successful at our organization, and has built a talented team and a growing relationship with P&G.  He is a strategic thinker with a strong background working with world-class clients."

Cass added that he is "honored to have been asked to lead Carat at this very challenging time for our industry and the economy as a whole. I am fortunate to have been involved in our agency's growth in both Europe and the U.S. over the past 14 years, and believe that we have a wonderful opportunity to build upon our innovation, consumer focus and business model to benefit our customers." 

Sorokin joined as president of Carat Fusion in 2006 and became president of Carat when the agency merged with Carat USA in July 2007. He said he would now look for "opportunities focusing on digital marketing innovation."