Coty concentrates marketing efforts on top mass lines

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Following a recent reorganization, Coty Beauty U.S. will now focus initiatives on its top mass brands, including the remake of Healing Garden into a lower-priced botanical skin-care and wellness line to compete with Estee Lauder's Origins, and a major push to build Rimmel London cosmetics beyond Wal-Mart.

In June, Coty Beauty U.S. President John Galantic put a team of five senior VPs in place to head up formerly scattered brand projects in the hard-hit mass beauty and fragrance segments in which it plays.

plans to stand out

The team is already up and running with plans for increased advertising, new product lines and promotions it hopes can differentiate its brands among heavy-hitting competitors.

For Bath and Body VP Roslyn Griner, brought in from Coty, Canada, the first challenge is to remake Healing Garden and Calgon in the face of steep declines in the bath and body category. The specialty bath segment soared in the early `90s and Coty rode the wave created by Bath & Body Works with its own Healing Garden and Calgon lines. But retailers have lost interest and, Ms. Griner said, "Our long-term viability depends on our ability to reinvent ourselves."

New packaging and the launch of Healing Hands lotion this fall will begin to set the stage for the repositioning. Next April, Healing Garden will unveil a body-sculpting, anti-aging line of skin care that includes an intensive nourishing cream and a skin-renewal body wash with lotion (follow-ups to the launch of an anti-cellulite product last spring).

`Take me away. . .'

Meanwhile, Calgon is also being catapulted beyond its longtime, "Take me away ..." positioning to be more youthful and fun, Ms. Griner said, with plans to play off the growing trend in dessert-based beauty products with a promotional lineup of body powder, bath soak and body lotion dubbed "cocoa bliss." Coty hopes to differentiate its Rimmel cosmetics from heavy-spending competitors by pushing the "London Look" positioning that has helped catapult the cosmetics line to success in Europe, Canada and in Wal-Mart stores here.

As it launches widely to retail chains this September, Rick Goldberg, VP-color cosmetics, said Rimmel will get at least triple the roughly $3 million in ad spending it received last year, with plans for TV and print featuring spokesmodel Kate Moss. While he admits that amount pales in comparison to budgets for Revlon and Maybelline (both of which will get boosts to help stem declines in mass cosmetics), he said the affordable-yet-fashionable British brand approach, played up heavily in-store, will help Rimmel break through the clutter. The campaign is handled by WPP Group's J. Walter Thompson, London.

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