L’Oreal Makes Media Pick in China

Cosmetics giant L’Oreal has awarded its $1 billion-plus media planning and buying account in China to WPP Group’s Mindshare after a consolidation review, the client has confirmed.
The review was a shootout between the two incumbents, Mindshare, which handled about 25 percent of the business, and Publicis Groupe’s Optimedia.
The win is huge for Mindshare, and more than makes up for its loss of the $450 million Unilever account in China earlier this year. According to CTR Market Research, which tracks ad spending in China, the cosmetics/toiletries category drove the market’s 17 percent growth in the first half of 2010. Total spending in China rose to $41 billion in the first half, per CTR.
During the same period, L’Oreal, one of the biggest ad spenders in China, was up 31 percent to $550 million, which followed a 65 percent increase in spending there by the client in 2009 to just over $1 billion.
Commenting on the win, Ashutosh Srivastava, CEO, Mindshare Asia-Pacific, said, “This appointment is a reflection of the hard work, commitment and dedication of the entire Mindshare China team.”
The win is the third major piece of business that GroupM has picked up from L’Oreal this year. In July, Mindshare sister shop Maxus won L’Oreal’s media account in India, while Mindshare picked up its Mexico business a few months ago, while in a   separate review it retained Hong Kong.
Zenith Optimedia continues to service the client’s $100 million-plus account in the UK. In the U.S., L’Oreal consolidated media chores for its $710 million assignment with Interpublic’s Universal McCann earlier this year, after a review that pitted UM against the other incumbent, ZO.