Redken will return to TV via new agency Gotham

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Redken has hired Gotham, New York, as its agency and is preparing to air its first TV advertising in more than a year.

Redken, which spent $3.5 million on advertising in 1996, according to Competitive Media Reporting, is expected to boost its ad budget for 1998 to an estimated $7 million. TV commercials are slated to break in mid-March, with a print campaign to follow.

"They had to do [TV] to stay competitive" in the haircare market, said Stone Roberts, chairman of Gotham, which also handles Maybelline, another product of L'Oreal's Cosmair unit.

FIGHTING SALON PRODUCTS

Redken is fighting against salon haircare marketers such as Nexxus Products Co., Bristol-Myers Squibb's Matrix Essentials and John Paul Mitchell for market share.

In addition to Matrix Essentials, Bristol is the parent of haircare mass marketer Clairol and last month reached an agreement to acquire Redmond Products.

Mr. Roberts said the Redken line will be positioned as a "blend of technology and fashion" because "advertising has to appeal to both the salon operator and the consumer," since Redken products are sold exclusively through salons. He said that posed an unusual marketing situation since "the distribution point is so critical."

EYEING OTHER L'OREAL WORK

Mr. Roberts said his agency's game plan is to gain business from other L'Oreal subsidiaries. Cosmair's other units include L'Oreal Technique Professional, L'Oreal Retail and BioTherm.

McCann-Erickson Worldwide and Publicis are other core L'Oreal agencies.

The Redken ad business has been handled in-house for the past year.

Before the account went in-house, TBWA Chiat/Day, New York, worked for Redken on a project basis.1

Copyright January 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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