Avon's global fragrance business -- estimated to be worth between $60 million and $80 million in ad billings -- includes men's and women's scents including brands backed by designers and celebrities such as Christian Lacroix, Derek Jeter and Salma Hayek. As part of part of a fourth-quarter earnings conference call with analysts, Avon Chairman-CEO Andrea Jung said Avon has several fragrance endorsement deals planned for the second half of 2008.
Soho Square still AOR
An Avon spokeswoman said WPP Group's Soho Square will continue to be Avon's agency of record, handling creative duties for the marketer's other product lines, which include beauty, skin care, jewelry and apparel.
The addition of a new agency partner comes as Avon, which markets to women in more than 100 countries through 5.4 million independent sales representatives, has been ratcheting up its ad spending as part of a turnaround plan for the brand, begun in 2005 in response to lackluster sales.
"In 2007 our advertising investment reached nearly $370 million," Ms. Jung said on the company's recent earnings call. "That's the largest in our history. It's almost three times the $136 million we spent in 2005."
$98.1 million on media
Domestically, Avon spent $98.1 million in measured media between January and September of last year, according to TNS Media Intelligence.
Kirshenbaum Bond will be tasked to produce print, TV and out of home for Avon's fragrance portfolio in a number of global markets. The agency's first work is expected to break in August.
Richard Kirshenbaum, co-chairman of the MDC Partners-owned agency, said in an interview the shop is in the midst of hiring talent across various departments to work on the newly awarded Avon business and on additional business it picked up last month from its Wendy's client.