Carat on the hunt for new leadership

Jeff Dack has made a return to the creative world. What lies ahead?

Carat’s Jeff Dack has moved from media buying to creative – and the Dentsu Aegis Network agency is now on the hunt for a new leader.

Dack, who has been appointed as CEO of the newly merged J. Walter Thompson and Wunderman agencies (now Wunderman Thompson), spent three years at the helm of Carat.

Despite leading the Dentsu agency for several years, his background was always distinctly more on the creative side. He came up as a copywriter for the likes of TBWA, Zig and Cossette before assuming more directorial and supervisory roles.

But during his time with Carat, the agency has seen a number of high-profile wins and retentions. In late 2017, it successfully defended the Subway account (after more than a decade on the file) effectively forming the specialty team within the network (as well as sister creative shop DentsuBos), dubbed “The Franchise.”

It also won buying for Steam Whistle Brewing, an account Dack says represented a big moment for a little client. “We’re not talking about Budweiser budgets here… For us, competition brings out the best in anybody, because you have to ask yourself, how do you stand out in a sea of formidable competitors? How do you amplify the brand?” Other wins under his tenure include pet food manufacturer Nutrience.

In ComVergence’s mid-year 2018 report, Carat took the top spot in the country for new business with an estimated US$36 million in wins and retentions. In the firm’s June 2019 report, Carat came in second place for total billings at US$378 million (an increase of 1.7% from the year before). Meanwhile, RECMA’s March report put Carat in second place for Canada’s media market share (7%).

Now it finds itself without a CEO. But in a statement to MiC, Hisham Ghostine, president of media brands with Dentsu Aegis Network Canada, says the team is working closely to “finalize a new leadership structure” that builds on its current market momentum.