Company Turns to Actress Rather Than Model for New Face

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NEW YORK ( -- Estee Lauder’s latest play to transform its image from staid to stylish is a multiyear contract with actress Gwyneth Paltrow to star in global ads for a number of its fragrance and makeup collections.

The signing of Ms. Paltrow for upcoming advertising campaigns, the first of which will tout Estee Lauder’s 10-year-old Pleasures fragrance this holiday season, is one of many recent initiatives from the Estee Lauder Cos. unit as its new global brand president, John Demsey, looks to turn the venerable beauty brand from fusty to fashionable.

New marketing chief
In recent weeks, Mr. Demsey has hired former L’Oreal head of Ralph Lauren Fragrances, Andrea Robinson, as the brand’s first-ever chief marketing officer and signed a global deal with former Gucci designer Tom Ford to develop products for the line.

Turning to well-known celebrities rather than just beautiful models as spokespeople has been a growing tactic for beauty marketers looking to capture consumers’ lifestyle aspirations more quickly. Coty has had recent fragrance hits with scents from Jennifer Lopez and Celine Dion, and Revlon has used actress Julianne Moore and more recently added actress Susan Sarandon to boost the star-appeal of its brand.

Celebrity appeal
Mr. Demsey, no stranger to celebrity appeal, having signed Chloe Sevigny and Pamela Anderson to back Viva Glam lipstick during his days heading up Estee Lauder’s M.A.C. cosmetics, said Ms. Paltrow is “perfect for Estee Lauder. She is one of the most important actresses of our time, and she is smart, interesting and a fashion icon.”

Aerin Lauder, senior vice president of global creative directions for the brand, offered that Ms. Paltrow likewise “personifies the image of our brand” because she is “aspirational and stylish.”

Print and TV effort
According to an Estee Lauder statement, Pleasures is the fourth-largest fragrance brand in the world and ranks in the top 10 fragrances in the U.S. Ms. Paltrow will be featured in print and TV ads to back the fragrance during holiday 2005 and will follow with appearances for other Estee Lauder fragrances and makeup categories yet to be determined.

Separately, Estee Lauder also announced that its longtime spokewoman, Elizabeth Hurley, will become the new face of its Re-Nutriv skincare line.

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