BBH, Zenith win perfume launch

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LONDON -- A joint venture between Italian luxury shoe maker Salvatore Ferragamo and Italian high-priced jewelry marketer Bulgari, formed to launch a perfume globally later this year, has given its global creative account to Bartle Bogle Hegarty in London and the worldwide media business to Zenith Media. The London and Rome offices of Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide also pitched for the account, which is thought to be substantial.

Salvatore Ferragamo began making shoes in the 1920s for stars such as Rudolph Valentino and Audrey Hepburn. Today, the successful family- owned business markets shoes, handbags and luxury accessories in North America, Europe and the Far East. It's global sales are thought to be in excess of $450 million.

The joint venture marks Ferragamo's first foray into the fine fragrance market. Bulgari, however, branched out of jewelry and watches in 1993 with the launch of Bulgari Eau Parfumee. That launch was so successful that today Bulgari markets four fragrances, which account for 14% of the company's sales of around $350 million.

Family-controlled Bulgari is a big spender when it comes to advertising. Last year Bulgari invested $46 million on marketing its luxury products. And, in an usual move for a prestige products marketer, Bulgari last year mounted its first ever TV campaign, which was handled by Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, Milan. Bulgari's perfume subsidiary is based in Neuchatel, Switzerland.

Bulgari owns 54 stores and also sells its products through 200 watch retailers and 5,500 perfume outlets.

Copyright January 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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