Revlon Taps Taxi, Y&R for Global Business

Review Excludes Almay, Breaks Losing Streak for Y&R

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Revlon plans to award most of its global creative business to a WPP team of Young & Rubicam and Taxi following a review, according to a person familiar with the matter, though the contract for the business has yet to be signed.

The work, formerly handled in-house, includes the global Revlon business and digital and social engagement work for Mitchum deodorant. It doesn't include the Almay brand.

Revlon spent $265.2 million globally on advertising last year, according to its financial reports. Revlon got $132 million in U.S. measured media support last year, according to Kantar Media, out of $169 million overall for the company's brands. Spending on the core brand was up 21% in the U.S., according to Kantar, and the company reported it hiked ad spending overall globally in the first quarter.

Spokespeople or executives for Y&R, Taxi and Revlon declined to comment or didn't return calls for comment.

Revlon gained share in its key lipstick category last year, up 2.2 points to 29.9%, according to SymphonyIRI data from DeutscheBank. But it gave back 1.5 points in the first quarter, and the brand has lost share for the past year and quarter in other segments. Mitchum has had a tough go for years as bigger, better-funded entrants from Unilever (Axe) and Procter & Gamble Co. (Old Spice) have gained share in deodorants.

The move comes nine months after former Coca-Cola Co. executive Julia Goldin joined Revlon as chief marketing officer. A Revlon spokeswoman said Ms. Goldin was traveling and declined to comment on the agency assignments.

It also appears to break a nine-month losing streak for Y&R, which has lost business since September from Bacardi, Dell, 7-Up, MetLife, Office Depot and Sears. And it gives Taxi, which got a drubbing on Twitter in 2008 over digital and print ads for Johnson & Johnson's Motrin seen by some as mocking baby-wearing moms, a new shot at social media for Mitchum.

Revlon has been a notoriously tough client to work for, according to people familiar with the matter, who say that through a host of CEOs and chief marketers over the years, Chairman Ron Perelman has had a frequent tendency to intervene in marketing matters.

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