L'Oreal Turns to R/GA for Luxury Brands

Interpublic Shop Grows Its Spot on Cosmetics Giant's Roster

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R/GA has been named U.S. digital agency of record for L'Oreal luxury products, which includes skin-care and makeup brands Lancome, Kiehl's, Giorgio Armani Beauty and Yves Saint Laurent Beauty, the agency told Ad Age .

The move means R/GA parent Interpublic Group of Cos. has captured more business from L'Oreal, which largely has split marketing duties for its various brands between the U.S. holding company, the industry's fourth largest, and French holding company Publicis Groupe , the third largest after Omnicom Group and WPP.

Namesake shop Publicis, New York, and media agencies Zenith and Optimedia all handle work for the luxury division. In January, L'Oreal consolidated all digital media planning and buying for all L'Oreal USA divisions with Atlanta-based digital shop Moxie Interactive. Publicis, New York is a L'Oreal USA agency, handling work for a number of brands. The agency's digital sibling, Modem, handles digital for SoftSheen Carson, but not Luxury, according to a Publicis spokeswoman. L'Oreal representatives could not be immediately reached for comment.

R/GA will develop websites, creative, media planning and mobile, social and retail initiatives. The agency first worked with L'Oreal in 2005 to redesign the L'Oreal Paris website, and has since grown its responsibilities for the marketer.

L'Oreal was the No. 10 U.S. ad spender by measured media, according to Kantar Media. The Paris-based beauty marketer increased its 2010 ad spending 30.6% over 2009, the fastest growth among the top spenders. L'Oreal appointed its first U.S. chief marketer, Marc Speichert, last year.

The luxury category, after years of shuttling ad dollars toward magazines and outdoor, has begun to embrace digital and social media whole hog since the onset of the recession.

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