Initiative Kisses Revlon Goodbye, There's A RedHouse Over Yonder

Revlon and its global media agency Initiative have parted ways about two years after the IPG shop won the business after a formal review.

Revlon reported total ad expenses of $507 million in 2018, according to its annual report for that year, down from about $550 million the prior year. The media portion of that total was not broken out.

In the U.S., the cosmetics company spent about $30 million on measured media last year, according to Kantar.

Initiative confirmed the split in a brief statement: “A few weeks ago, we ended our global relationship with Revlon. We wish them every success in the future.”

Around the time it appointed Initiative in 2018, Revlon also created The Red House, an in-house ad agency where it shifted creative duties that previously had been handled by Grey. The development of that operation was led by digital marketing veteran Kristi VandenBosch who has since moved from Revlon to Oliver, a company that helps marketer s build in-house agencies. That company is part of You & Mr Jones.



It’s not clear if Revlon is bringing media in-house or looking for another agency or possibly both.

A growing number of agencies are helping clients bring certain tasks in-house, while retaining others. Revlon officials did not respond to queries about the development by deadline.

What is clear is that Revlon is on a cost-cutting mission as it struggles with myriad financial problems. First-quarter sales were down 18%. In March, the company announced a new restructuring program expected to generate annual cost reductions of between $200 and $230 million by the end of 2022.

The program includes staff cuts and reduced selling, general and administrative expenses.


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