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Just Eat set to part ways with Karmarama as it hunts global ad agency

Just Eat is hunting a global advertising agency after it kicked off, and then paused, a review of its advertising in the UK in February. The Drum understands that incumbent of just two years Karmarama has now declined to re-pitch for the consolidated international account.

The review was initiated by the food firm's UK marketing director Ben Carter seven months ago. However, it was halted in March when Just Eat appointed chief customer officer Peter Duffy to replace Barnaby Dawe, who jumped ship to Pret A Manger.

Duffy is now spearheading the process and resumed the process this autumn after taking time to ensure the advertising approach was in line with its long-term global strategy.

It's believed Just Eat now wants to centralise big markets with the appointment of a single creative agency.

The brand has expanded into overseas markets like North America, but the UK remains its biggest with the company expecting to post revenues of £773m for 2018, £391m of which is anticipated to come from UK sales.

Accenture-owned Karmarama had been invited to re-pitch in February. However, The Drum understands it has since declined to move forward.

Just Eat's creative review: a timeline

Feb 2018: Review kicks off, led by UK marketing director Ben Carter

March 2018: Review paused , to ensure Just Eat's approach was aligns with the its long-term strategy

May 2018: Just Eat's global chief marketing officer Barnaby Dawe exits, Peter Duffy appointed as chief customer officer

September 2018: Review resumes, with a global focus

November 2018: Mother, Chime, Anomaly and McCann revealed to be in the running, with incumbent Karmarama having declined the invitation

Agencies understood to be on the shortlist to pick up the global business include Mother London, McCann, Anomaly and Chime – the owner of VCCP, which recently opened its first New York office.

Just Eat is believed to be looking for the account to be managed from the UK but the brief will also include key markets like Canada and Australia.

All agencies involved, and Just Eat, have been contacted for more information. Karmarama declined to comment.

Karmarama launched a comprehensive overhaul of the brand in 2016. Of late, its proposition for Just Eat has been focused on the 'magical world' of its food delivery service with a series of fantastical ad spots, the most recent of which launched last week.

More work for the UK market is expected to launch from the agency for the brand in the coming months.

When it kicked off the initial review in February, Just Eat said the 2016 rebrand and subsequent campaigns helped it reposition itself and "accelerate" business growth.

"In an increasingly dynamic market and with food delivery rapidly becoming the norm, we want to take this opportunity to look at our creative advertising strategy and will be discussing this with our incumbent as well as a small number of other advertising agencies," the brand said at the time.

AAR is managing the pitch, with the four shortlisted creative shops expected to pitch mid-December.