Coty media revamp favors Omnicom

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As part of its efforts to create a new look, Coty will begin a gradual consolidation of its $65 million worldwide media spending at units of Omnicom Group.

The beauty company will move the bulk of planning and buying duties to Optimum Media Direction, the Omnicom media brand overseas, and its U.S. media buying and planning to Optimum Media, the U.S. media arm of Omnicom's DDB Worldwide, New York.

The U.S. account will move from Robert Geller & Associates, New York, effective March 1. That will follow the Jan. 1 move of Coty's media account in Germany -- its second-largest market -- to OMD, Frankfurt, from More Media, Duesseldorf, a division of Publicis.

OMD already works with Coty in China, Russia and the U.K., and was tapped recently in Canada and France.

MAY LOOK AT OTHER SHOPS

Coty's decided in 1998 to concentrate media as part of CEO Peter Harf's plan to centralize operations globally, said Lisa Capparelli, VP-worldwide media director. While OMD will be the lead media agency and will pick up duties in most overseas markets, Coty also may choose to look at other shops in select markets, Ms. Capparelli said.

Selection of the U.S. media agency was key because that is Coty's largest market and accounts for 30% to 40% of its media spending, Ms. Capparelli said. The company previously had used a variety of agencies overseas, including both independents and subsidiaries of various holding companies.

`GRATIFIED, EXCITED'

"I'm very gratified and excited by the Coty decision," said Page Thompson, president of Optimum Media. "It's especially rewarding in that Chanel just recently decided to move its account in another consolidation."

Chanel announced last month that it would move its $30 million media account from DDB to Young & Rubicam's New York-based Media Edge.

Coty has sought to shore up its image as a global beauty company since it was spun off into an independent holding company in 1996 by its parent, German household products conglomerate Joh. A. Benckiser GmbH. The company now is in the middle of an image overhaul begun in January that includes fine tuning the look of its product advertising and packaging (see story on Page 32).

The media account includes media planning and buying for both Coty Beauty, the mass-market division, and Lancaster Group, the unit that markets "prestige" makeup and fragrance via department and specialty stores.

SEVERAL SHOPS FOR CREATIVE

Coty Beauty is mainly a fragrance marketer in the U.S., with brands such as Calgon, Healing Garden and Jovan Musk. But overseas the company sells cosmetics under the Rimmel, Margaret Astor and Miss Sporty brands. Lancaster includes brands such as Chopard and Davidoff fragrances, Lancaster skincare and Manifesto cosmetics.

Coty uses several agencies in the U.S. and overseas to handle creative and also creates a large amount of work in-house. Its creative agency roster includes Leagas Delaney, London, and New York shops Della Femina/Jeary & Partners; Margeotes/Fertitta & Partners; and Frierson, Mee & Kraft, among others.

Contributing: Chuck Ross

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