Relativity Media Selects Carat

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Aegis Group’s Carat has won U.S. planning and buying responsibilities for Relativity Media’s film business after a review, the client has confirmed. Ad spending for the coming year’s slate of up to 14 films is estimated at close to $200 million.

Relativity, which is behind the The Social Network, about Mark Zuckerberg and the founding of Facebook, recently acquired the marketing and distribution operation of Overture Films. That move put Relativity in the movie distribution business. Previously, the company, headed by CEO Ryan Kavanaugh, had been a major financial backer of film projects, but not a distributor.

Independent shops Horizon Media and Palisades Media also participated in the review.

Omnicom’s PHD was the incumbent on the Overture account, and it was not clear if the firm was given an opportunity to defend. Susan Taylor, evp, managing director at Carat West, led the winning pitch. Previously, Taylor had held a similar post at PHD and led the review that brought the Overture business there.

The win is another in a string of victories for Carat this year, including Smuckers, Diageo, Wyeth, Beiersdorf and Red Bull. The shop has also sustained a few losses, including RadioShack, Revlon and Alberto Culver.

According to Carat U.S. CEO Martin Cass, the shop has won approximately $900 million in business in 2010, a nice tally after a few years of struggle. “Our consumer-centric approach to media with brands like Adidas, Gillette and Red Bull translates perfectly to Relativity’s needs,” he said.

As for the recent gains, Cass said he hopes it’s not a streak. He’s put in two years of effort since gaining the helm of the shop to “get the basics right and create something a little bit different to make people take notice. It’s starting to bear some fruit.”