Coty Expands Local Media Agency Reviews Into $300M Global Search

After Two Years of Ad Spending Cuts, Pitch for Beauty Product Marketer Expected to Be Cost-Driven

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NEW YORK ( -- Coty is expanding a series of local reviews for media buying in the U.S. and U.K. into a global pitch across 90 countries for its nearly $300 million media account.

The U.K. portion of the business, which went to Omnicom Group's OMD seven months ago, and the U.S. pitch -- which was still undecided but pitted OMD against Havas' MPG -- will be up for review again as part of this consolidation effort. Both agencies referred calls to the client, but it is rumored they will take part in the global review.

A U.S.-based spokesman for Coty referred a request for comment to the company's Paris-based global media buyer, who didn't immediately return an e-mail for comment. The review will be led out of Paris, Coty's corporate headquarters, by its senior VP-corporate media, Sigrun Graeff.

Coty's reasons for expanding the review were not entirely clear to some executives familiar with the matter. "We have no clear indication as to why this review has escalated," said one. "They are big on efficiencies and cost, so it's probably going to be a pretty cost-driven review."

"When it's a long series of disparate agencies, it's hard to make global deals and create any type of process with insight," another executive said. "[Coty] would probably prefer to have one or two agencies, three at maximum, running the whole business, instead of leading the business at the local level." This executive estimated that the company worked with as many as seven agencies across the globe.

The fragrance industry has been hit hard by the recession and is reflected in the cuts in Coty's ad spending, which, according to industry executives, has been reduced significantly over the past two years globally and by nearly half in the U.S.

The review will encompass all of the brands Coty owns, including Calvin Klein, Kenneth Cole, Joop and Nautica in its Prestige portfolio, and Adidas, David and Victoria Beckham, Pierre Cardin and Stetson in its beauty portfolio.

Lately OMD has been the beneficiary of global consolidations, nabbing the $30 million Virgin Atlantic global business in early September and the $1 billion global Vodafone account in late August.

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Contributing: Jack Neff

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