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Carat merges online, offline advertising agencies

I just read an Adweek interview with David Verklin, CEO of Carat Americas, discussing the recent merger of Carat USA (traditional media agency) with Carat Fusion (its digital agency). The result is an agency set up to manage both online and offline activities for its clients. While this is “revolutionary” and “trendsetting” in the industry, I have to wonder why it took so long! I appreciate Verklin’s explanation that the marketplace is just now in a place where agencies don’t necessarily need a stand-alone digital shop to be taken seriously. But let’s be honest here….do any of us really think consumers care whether or not a campaign was crafted in a traditional or digital studio? For that matter, does anyone actually believe consumers separate web ads from radio ads from the TV ad they forgot to skip past using their DVR, when all of these ads are for the same brand. Of course not. From a consumer’s point of view, these are all messages for one company regardless of the method of delivery. Which means marketers and their agencies need to make sure that each touchpoint a customer has with a brand reinforces the others — magazine, radio, TV, online, out-of-home, etc. Otherwise, you miss the opportunity to build message synergies, or, even worse, you create confusion.

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