Seven members of an association of small, independent agencies have allied themselves with giant media service Carat ICG, which will run the business out of its Chicago office.
Seven of the Advertising & Marketing International Network's 31 agencies have chosen to turn to Carat ICG for at least some portion their TV and radio buying duties. Some will use Carat ICG only as an additional bullet in new business pitches. Media billings from the seven shops were estimated by Carat at $50 million.
The agencies are: Hoffman York, Milwaukee; Bailey Lauerman & Associates, Lincoln, Neb.; Doe-Anderson, Louisville, Ky.; dGWB, Irvine, Calif.; FJCANDN, Salt Lake City; Gray Kirk/Vansant Advertising, Baltimore; and Stone & Ward, Little Rock, Ark.
Carat ICG's Chicago office has formed a unit and set up a system on the Internet to handle the new consortium, called the AMIN Media Communications Group.
AMIN met with two other buying services, Western International and TBS, before selecting Carat ICG, a unit of Carat North America.
"We give them clout," said Jim Surmanek, senior vice president and client group manager at Carat ICG in Chicago.
Tom Jordan, managing partner and executive creative director at Hoffman York, said his agency will primarily use Carat ICG in new business pitches and that the move will not mean eliminating or reducing the shop's existing media department.
"This [relationship with Carat ICG] is for national and international media clout," Jordan said.
Carat ICG's Chicago office recently was boosted with the award of media buying for Ameritech's $100 million account. That followed a review that included Ammirati Puris Lintas, New York, which handles creative development for Ameritech.
Separately, Hardee's restaurants has moved its $55-60 million local broadcast buying business from Carat ICG to Western International.