Beiersdorf Picks Aegis' Carat For $100 Million Media Planning, Buying

Account Was at Omnicom Group's OMD

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NEW YORK ( -- Beauty marketer Beiersdorf has awarded its $100 million U.S. media planning and buying account to Aegis' Carat after a review that included the longtime incumbent, Omnicom Group's OMD, executives with knowledge of the situation said.

Other shops involved in the review earlier in the process included WPP's Mediaedge:cia and Havas' MPG.

Beiersdorf is the maker of skin-care and beauty products including Nivea, Eucerin and La Prairie. The review began as a pricing exercise between the cosmetic company and OMD back in November. OMD -- which won a media Lion at the annual Cannes advertising festival last year for Nivea's Good-bye Cellulite product line -- referred all calls to the client, as did Carat. Beiersdorf did not return calls before press time.

There has been a lot of flux in the personal-care category, and Carat has seemingly been in the thick of it.

The Beiersdorf win helps Carat fill the gap left by the departure of Revlon, which moved its nearly $100 million U.S. media-planning and -buying account to WPP's MediaCom without a review last month.

In addition to the new Beirsdoft account, Carat picked up North American communications-planning duties on P&G's Gillette male-grooming business, which includes hair care and body wash. At the same time, it's also defending another beauty account; Alberto-Culver, owner of the Noxema and St. Ive's brands, put its global and creative accounts up for review in January.

The win also solidifies Carat's role as a major agency partner for Beiersdorf, based in Hamburg, Germany. In September of last year the marketer handed Carat its media business in Germany, where OMD was also the incumbent. That review reportedly also began as a pricing exercise. Carat also picked up media chores for several Beiersdorf brands in China.

The agency changes come as the marketer has struggled amid the recession. Last week in its 2009 earnings report, the company reported a drop of 33% in net income to $520 million. In a press release the company said: "The economic crisis has changed the environment for the cosmetics industry worldwide, and we will need to be even more flexible and focus even more strongly on our core competencies in the future." Beiersdorf employs more than 20,000 people globally.

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