L’Oréal Taps Fallon for Launch

L’Oréal has tapped the New York office of Fallon to handle creative duties on a new as signment in the U.S., the agency confirmed. Billings were not disclosed, but sources pegged them at $20-30 million.

Fallon was selected after a review involving fellow Publicis Groupe shops Publicis & Hal Riney, San Francisco, and Publicis, New York, said sources. Of the three in the review, Publicis is the only L’Oréal roster agency.

Alison Burns, president of Fallon, said, “We are absolutely delighted to be working with a company of L’Oréal’s stature.”

The shop will handle “a number of initiatives” in the “new-products area,” Burns added. She declined to be more specific and referred questions to L’Oréal, which could not be reached.

Sources said, how ever, that Fallon would handle the launch of a shampoo brand in the U.S. One executive pointed to Garnier Fructis, a brand that historically has been marketed more heavily in Europe.

The win comes as Fallon attempts to regain its footing in New York, after a difficult year of client-spending declines and staff cuts, which made the office more reliant upon Fallon’s headquarters in Minneapolis [Adweek, Nov. 26]. The two offices now share resources when possible, and several months ago, the Minneapolis creative team of copywriter Linus Karlsson and art director Paul Malmstrom (MTV’s “Yukka Bros.,” Miller Lite’s “Dick”) relocated to New York.

New-business opportunities, meanwhile, have picked up, with Fallon landing a radio assignment from PepsiCo’s SoBe and getting into the finals of The Wiz’s $20 million review. (The other finalists are New York shops Bates, Hampel/Stefanides, The Concept Farm, Wolf Group and the team of Cliff Freeman and Partners in New York and Zimmerman & Partners in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. A selection is expected this week.)

Fallon claims billings of more than $150 million from clients such as Timberland, Starbucks (retail products), And 1, Conseco, Time and the National Oilheat Research Alliance.