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Avon Selects W+K

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Wieden + Kennedy, New York, has been selected to handle advertising for BeComing, a new retail line from Avon that debuted in August.

The agency prevailed over crosstown shops Fallon and Shephardson Stern + Kaminsky, to nab the $6-10 million account, sources said. The decision follows presentations last month to Stuart Sklar, the brand's marketing executive, and Steven Bock, president of the retail division.

Sklar and Bock did not immediately return phone calls, and Wieden could not be immediately reached for comment.

Mediacom will continue to handle media duties.

The inaugural advertising for Becoming, via J. Walter Thompson in New York, broke in September books and stressed female empowerment with the tagline: "Celebrating who you are, and who you are becoming." JWT, which was tapped in October 2000 to launch the brand, completed the assignment and no longer works for Avon, an agency representative said.

Becoming--Avon's first foray into retail--started appearing on shelves at J.C. Penney in August. The New York-based company is looking to find a second retail partner after a deal with Sears Roebuck stores fell through this summer.

The lion's share of Avon's advertising is handled in-house. According to CMR, Avon spent $34 million in measured media in 2000 and $23 million for the first six months of 2001.
--Ann M. Mack with Andrew McMains and Kathleen Sampey