Not even if the price was right?: Corridor talk included continued speculation about possible divestitures, among them Procter & Gamble Co.'s Noxzema brand, Benckiser's Lancaster and Unilever's Elizabeth Arden. But Arden this week will announce a total image makeover, and Unilever is also interested in buying Donna Karan's cosmetics and fragrance business, an acquisition that has similarly piqued the interest of Estee Lauder Cos. As a matter of policy, Unilever does not comment on rumors, while executives from the other companies continued to deny any intent to sell.
A strong Curve: Buoyed by the surprising out-of-the-gate success of its Curve women's and men's fragrance launches last fall, Liz Claiborne Cosmetics is planning an $18 million introduction of Liz Sport and Claiborne Sport, another pair of women's and men's scents handled by Shepardson, Stern & Kaminsky, New York. That agency picked up the business after L'Oreal asked Gotham to drop the account because of possible conflicts. "These won't be like Ralph Lauren's Polo Sport, [they will be] more casual," said Claiborne Cosmetics President Neil Katz. Claiborne Cosmetics may have a new owner by then if parent Liz Claiborne Inc. finalizes discussions now under way with an investor group.
On the scent: Coty, which like the rest of the mass fragrance market did not have a banner Christmas, is not giving up on the category. Besides its $15 million spring launch of Nokomis via the Seiden Group, New York, Coty is working on one men's and one women's scent for fall with an estimated $25 million in marketing between them. The men's scent will be called Avatar, and Jerry & Ketchum will handle ads.