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Aegis Group plc
Type Public (LSE: AGS)
Founded 1968
Headquarters London, UK
Key people John Napier, Chairman
Industry Media
Revenue £1,346.5 million (2009)[1]
Operating income £114.8 million (2009)[1]
Net income £64.2 million (2009)[1]
Employees circa 16,00 (2010)[2]
Subsidiaries Carat

Aegis Group plc (LSE: AGS) is a media and market research group listed on the London Stock Exchange. The company employs almost 16,800 staff in over 80 countries. Aegis Group plc is the parent company of Aegis Media and Synovate. Aegis media has 4 media companies under the group - Carat, Isobar, Vizeum, Posterscope and PSI Advertising.



The business can be traced back to the founding in France in 1968 of the media agency Centre achete radio et television (Caret).[3]

In 1979 WCRS Group was formed as an advertising agency and in 1984 WCRS Group acquired Caret. WCRS Group became one of the fastest growing marketing services groups of the 1980’s.[4]

WCRS Group was led by Peter Scott—the ‘S’ of WCRS[5]— who went on to found Aegis in 1989 as a separate company based on the original WCRS media buying division which itself was centred around the French media business Caret.

The old WCRS agency has re-emerged as part of the Engine Group[6].

In 1990, the name of the company was officially changed from WCRS to Aegis Group.[3]


Aegis has the following main businesses:[7]

  • Synovate: this division handles the market research activities. The business consulting activities are handled by Synovate business consulting
  • Carat: the media communications specialist
  • Isobar: a global digital marketing network
  • Posterscope: an out-of-home media specialist
  • Vizeum: a so-called challenger media brand
  • PSI Advertisin: a specialist in international airport advertising.

Carat provides the following services:

  • Consumer insight and media research solutions
  • Communications strategy & consultancy
  • Data analysis & evaluation
  • Implementational media planning and buying across TV, press, radio, outdoor and cinema
  • Digital media planning & buying
  • Digital search management
  • Digital consultancy including email, mobile, affliliates and site-build, SEO and igital creative solutions through the Isobar network
  • Media sponsorship - creation, negotiation and management
  • Branded content - creation, negotiation and management
  • Event sponsorship - creation, negotiation and management including bespoke event creation
  • Sport sponsorship - creation, negotiation and management
  • Customer communications planning
  • Direct response planning and buying
  • Business-to-business media planning and buying
  • Carat is also one of the the agencies who provide Global advertising forecasts


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[8].


The company is governed by a board of directors, whose current members include John Napier (Chairman), Jerry Buhlmann (CEO, Aegis Media), Alicja Lesniak (Chief Financial Officer), Adrian Chedore (CEO, Synovate), and 6 other non-executive Directors.


  1. ^ a b c Preliminary Results 2009
  2. ^ Aegis: People
  3. ^ a b A History of Firsts
  4. ^ Simon Marquis, Full service will never be resumed, Guardian, February 19th 2007
  5. ^ Caroline Marshall, Ad hoc: Agency warhorses come charging back for buyout, Daily Telegraph, April 12, 2004
  6. ^ Dan Sabbagh, Agency finds new power in Engine, Times, November 18, 2005
  7. ^ Aegis business overview
  8. ^ Kam Patel, Aegis shareholders shun Bollore again, Hemscott, May 25, 2007

External links



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