International cosmetics giant Coty is launching a global review of media chores on its estimated $285 million ad account, according to sources.
Curiously, word of the review comes after the client conducted a series of reviews in various markets earlier this year, including the U.S., where incumbent OMD, a unit of Omnicom, and contender MPG, a division of Havas, were vying for the account.
Sources now estimate that Coty spends about $60 million in the U.S., down by more than 50 percent over the last two years. The company spent $112 million in domestic measured media last year, down from approximately $140 million in 2007, per Nielsen.
It appears that the global review was called before the client made an official decision on the U.S. account, after going through a full review process here, sources said. OMD and MPG were finalists while WPP's Maxus was eliminated in an earlier round.
Earlier this year, the client also reviewed its media assignment in the U.K. and opted to retain incumbent OMD. Maxus was the other finalist in the U.K. review. A separate pitch covering France was also in the works before the global pitch was called.
It was not immediately clear why the client reversed course in mid-stream and opted for a global consolidation pitch instead of completing the process in select markets. One source opined that the client probably believed it could achieve greater efficiencies.
Sources said the review would be managed at the client's London offices by Coty corporate media svp Sigrun Graeff. It was not clear whether the client was using an outside consultant as well. For the U.S. review Coty had retained Billetts America, a media audit firm and an offshoot of U.K.-based Billetts.
It is believed that both OMD and MPG will participate in the process. In June, MPG was awarded the $185 million U.S. media account for luxury goods and fragrance maker LVMH, after a review that also included the incumbent, WPP's MediaCom. It could not be immediately determined if MediaCom was throwing its hat the ring for the Coty pitch.
Agencies either declined comment or referred calls to the client. Client representatives didn't return calls.
The client markets fragrances, cosmetics and toiletries under many labels, including Marc Jacobs, Calvin Klein, Joop!, Davidoff, Sally Hansen, New York Color, Rimmell and Kate Moss.
Coty reported net sales of $4 billion in fiscal 2008, up 26 percent from the previous year.
Nielsen Business Media