Aegis Group

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Aegis Group plc is a £1.4bn media and market research group listed on the London Stock Exchange. The company employs almost 14,000 staff in over 80 countries. Aegis Group's market research division is largely represented through Synovate.

Aegis Media's media and communications services businesses include media agencies Carat and Vizeum, out-of-home specialist Posterscope and leading digital marketing services network, Isobar, including agencies such as de-construct and glue london in the UK. In France, Carat is the leading media agency, and Aegis Media is a leading global independent media network in Europe meaning that it is not tied to any creative advertising network.

Carat is Europe's largest full service media specialist, and the #4 media specialist worldwide. According to RECMA, billings were $18.6bn in 2004. The agency's parent is independent media services group Aegis, ranked by Advertising Age as the #7 ad organisation worldwide in 2004 with revenues of $1.4bn. Although Carat remains its best-known brand the group has devoted much of its time recently to the creation of affiliated global networks, such as market research group Synovate, secondary media network Vizeum and interactive brand Isobar. In Autumn 2005, Aegis became the focus of acquisition talks, with rival bidders including Havas, Publicis and WPP [1]

French corporate raider Vincent Bolloré, through his holding company The Bolloré Group, is the single largest shareholder, controlling 29.12% of the issued share capital as at July 19, 2006. He has sought board representation on four separate occasions, but has been repelled. In his attempt in May 2007, he was overwhelmingly voted down by 90% of non-Bolloré shareholders, who voted 76% of eligible shares[2].

Aegis Group was created out of the break up of the old WCRS Group plc which had been one of the fastest growing marketing services groups of the 1980’s. [3]

WCRS was led by Peter Scott – the ‘S’ of WCRS [4] who went on to found Aegis as a separate company based on the original WCRS media buying division which itself was centred around the French media buying group Carat. The old WCRS agency has re-emerged as part of the Engine group [5].



  1. Source: Carat
  2. Kam Patel, Aegis shareholders shun Bollore again, Hemscott, May 25, 2007
  3. Simon Marquis, Full service will never be resumed, Guardian, February 19th 2007
  4. Caroline Marshall, Ad hoc: Agency warhorses come charging back for buyout, Daily Telegraph, April 12th 2004
  5. Dan Sabbagh, Agency finds new power in Engine, Times, November 18th 2005