CLAIROL GIVES WPP'S INTUITION AGENCY THE BIG BRUSHOFF: LOSES $30 MIL IN AD SPENDING, NOW OFF ROSTER

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Several Clairol brands are orphaned after the Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. division split with agency Intuition Group, New York.

They include the Loving Care, Lasting Color, Ultress, Glints, Natural Instincts and Revitalique hair color brands. Ad spending for those brands totaled $37 million for first 11 months of 1998, according to Competitive Media Reports.

Intuition was working on a $17 million relaunch of Loving Care for May and a new campaign for Revitalique to start later in the year.

NICE `N EASY CAME FIRST

Earlier this month, Clairol moved its Nice 'N Easy brand from Intuition to Kaplan Thaler Group, New York, which handles its Daily Defense, Aussie and Herbal Essences brands.

Nice 'N Easy was an estimated $21 million account for the first 11 months of 1998.

A two-sentence statement from Intuition stated the two companies "agreed to terminate their contract by mutual consent." But an executive close to the agency said the loss of Nice 'N Easy made it unprofitable to continue serving Clairol.

Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP Group, London, the parent of Intuition, said the shop will go on and continue WPP's commitment to marketing to women.

While Clairol was the agency's key account, it also is working on projects for other clients.

Intuition was formed by WPP as a spinoff of J. Walter Thompson USA in 1997. That move was meant to insulate what was then about $60 million worth of JWT's Clairol billings from conflicts with client Unilever, which had assigned JWT the $82 million launch of its Thermasilk shampoo line.

Executives close to Clairol speculated it would split the loose accounts between

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