We Hear: OMD Retains Luxottica’s ~$250 Million Global Media Business After Review

By Patrick Coffee 

Reliable sources tell us that Omnicom’s OMD recently triumphed in a global review of Italian eyewear giant Luxottica’s global media business.

You may not know Luxottica by name, but it is currently the world’s largest retailer of glasses—and you will almost certainly recognize a good portion of its brand roster, which includes LensCrafters, Sunglass Hut, Pearle Vision, Sears Optical, Target Optical, Glasses.com, etc. as well as Ray-Ban, Persol, and Oakley. The company also has a license to distribute glasses created by such fashion houses as DKNY, Chanel and Ralph Lauren.

The last such review went down in 2012, with Luxottica consolidating its business with Omnicom. The business had been with Publicis, with Starcom landing the U.S. retail portion in a 2005 review and Luxottica developing a global relationship with the holding company 5 years later. That review stemmed from a desire to consolidate the business with one holding company and involved all of the majors including Dentsu and Havas.

The review came amid some major changes at Luxottica, most prominently French manufacturer Essilor’s January bid to buy the company for $24 billion in stock, thereby creating the world’s biggest combined maker and seller of eyewear-related products. Since then, the company has also acquired Brazilian retailer Óticas Carol and announced plans to expand its Georgia distribution facility, creating an estimated 1,000 jobs. (Essilor is also an Omnicom client whose media business is run out of OMD Chicago.)

The company’s overall revenue dipped last year thanks to a spending slowdown in the United States, which remains its biggest market. Executives are “cautious,” but analysts say Luxottica will remain stable thanks to its dominance of the field in the U.S. and abroad.

It’s not clear which agencies competed for the business. An OMD spokesperson deferred to the client’s PR department, which has not responded to multiple requests for comment.

Luxottica works with various agencies including SapientNitro on the creative side of its brand portfolio. According to Kantar Media, the company spent $135 million on measured media in the U.S. in 2015 and approximately $100 million last year. Its global spend is estimated to be around $250 million across more than 150 countries.

Moving forward, OMD will also handle the programmatic buying portion of the client’s business.

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