THE NUMBERS: As with most of the beauty industry, things haven't been pretty for L'Oréal in this recession. Organic sales growth has been declining globally over the past year. If there's a saving grace, it's that L'Oréal edged P&G's beauty business in this regard in the second quarter, despite a much greater presence particularly in the hard-hit prestige beauty category. The company spent $765 million on U.S. measured media in 2008. First-half 2009 spending was down 4.6% to $343 million.
THE KEY LIEUTENANTS: Joseph Campinell, president of the U.S. consumer products group, oversees the L'Oréal Paris and Maybelline divisions, headed by Karen Fondu and David Greenberg, respectively. Carol Hamilton, longtime president of L'Oréal Paris, became president of the L'Oréal USA Luxury Products division last year.
THE CHALLENGE: Clearly, L'Oréal needs to hope for recovery in the U.S. and globally, and that its brands perform better on the way out. Garnier has made strides in U.S. skin care, but its growth has slowed in hair care. The L'Oréal brand faces a struggle to stay on the shelves in U.S. shampoo and conditioner, having already lost distribution at Target. A company that's often been a follower rather than a leader in product innovation needs to improve, something Mr. Roze's immediate predecessor, Laurent Attal, is tasked with as new global head of R&D.
THE AGENCIES: Interpublic's McCann Erickson, Universal-McCann and R/GA lead the agency lineup for L'Oréal Paris. Publicis Groupe's Publicis Worldwide and Zenith Optimedia Group lead the effort for Maybelline and Garnier. Involvement of Publicis Groupe and the Publicis network, both key P&G relationships, has proved the rivals can co-exist in an era of modern conflict policies.