Big news on the account front came down late yesterday.
Cosmetic giant Revlon consolidated its creative and media accounts with WPP’s Grey, the client’s new global creative AOR, and sibling media agency MediaCom, without a review.
Without a Review!
We’re talking about a client that spent $420 million on advertising in 2016 (per its annual report for that year) handing that business to Grey and MediaCom without considering what other competing agencies might have to offer—a pretty stunning endorsement of the two shops, I have to say.
This is a business controlled by investor Ron Perelman. He’s a shark that could eat all the sharks on ABC’s “Shark Tank” for a small between-meals snack. There may not have been a formal review, but I have no doubt that due diligence on the part of the client was thorough.
MediaCom already had a big chunk of the business. But as Revlon CEO Fabian Garcia said in a memo to the troops: “We have expanded the scope of MediaCom, with whom we were already working, and they will now serve as the global media agency of record for all planning and paid media buying across all brands.”
As Garcia noted in his memo, Grey has strong credentials in the cosmetic/beauty category, including a recently concluded 26-year run with Cover Girl. In fact, the Revlon assignment is timely: In February, the agency parted ways with Coty over financial differences.
“Grey has a long track record and deep expertise in the beauty industry and will provide integrated communications services, including traditional and digital advertising and promotion, and activation marketing for our brands, including Revlon, Elizabeth Arden, Almay, CND, Cutex, Sinful. Also, many of our key fragrance brands, including Charlie, Britney Spears, Curve, Tapout and Elizabeth Taylor,” Garcia noted.
Revlon has previously worked with a number of agencies, including Publicis Groupe’s luxury specialist AR New York.
Grey’s New York office will serve as a “global hub” for the Revlon account. In a separate memo to Grey staffers, global chairman and CEO Jim Heekin wrote: “Revlon’s iconic stature, rich heritage and reputation for continuous innovation has made it an industry leader since the 1930s. It is an honor to be entrusted with Revlon’s brand portfolio and to work together to break new ground in global marketing.”
Heekin gave shoutouts to “our intrepid beauty team leaders Debby Reiner, Seema Patel and Alice Ericsson. This huge win, along with those of Walgreens and Applebee’s, coming as they have in our centennial year, underscore the success of our ‘Famously Effective’ creative philosophy.”