Calvin Klein cosmetics consolidates $60M in European media with initiative

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LONDON--Unilever-owned Calvin Klein Cosmetics Co., New York, has consolidated ts entire $60 million pan-European media planning and buying account into Initiative Media, led from London. The company claims the move will bring a "more cohesive approach" to its media activities.

Initiative, which previously handled the marketer's TV buying in Europe, beat fellow incumbent CIA Medianetwork International and additional unidentified non-Unilever roster shops in a pitch process that kicked off October 19.

CIA loses its hold on all non-TV buying across Europe for Calvin Klein under the new arrangement, which will become effective January 1, 1999. The media agency had worked on the Calvin Klein business for the past 10 years.

The current policy of splitting the European assignment by media category no longer fits Unilever's strategy of greater consistency in its media operations, led by Worldwide Media Director Alan Rutherford, who joined last June. It's understood Unilever is also seeking keener media prices via the consolidation.

The review was led by Lynne Bonson, Calvin Klein's senior VP/general manager, Europe, and Shelley Smyth, VP marketing and sales development, Europe, and overseen by Mr. Rutherford. Creative is handled by the com-pany's in-house agency CRK, New York. Initiative offices across Europe will work on the business, along with the agency's pan-European office in London.

Unilever's Calvin Klein business encompasses fragrances and cosmetics and is distinct from the fashion brand. The company recently launched the new fragrance Contradiction.

Copyright December 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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