Gap Selects Carat for Planning

NEW YORK Aegis Group’s Carat has won media planning duties for The Gap after a review, the client has confirmed.

Other contenders included WPP Group’s Mediaedge:cia, Publicis Groupe’s Starlink, independent Palisades Media Group and the buying incumbent, Omnicom Group’s PHD. (Buying was not part of the review.)

The assignment covers the Gap label and sub-brands Gap Body, Baby Gap, Gap Maternity and Gap Kids.

Much of the San Francisco-based company’s media planning has been done in-house, and the client had said the review winner would serve as a “planning partner.” Publicis Groupe’s Starcom had filled that role with the client until parting ways earlier this year after it won Macy’s media assignment.

Gap ad spending in 2005 was approximately $100 million, per TNS Media Intelligence, down 33 percent from 2004, when expenditures reached almost $155 million.

Sources expect the company to boost its outlay this year to approximately $125 million, because executives believe last year’s media budget was too low.

This story updates an item posted earlier today with the client’s confirmation.