Alberto Culver Launches Global Search

Alberto Culver has confirmed launching a review of its global creative and media assignments.

Estimated annual ad spending in the U.S. is $100 million, while spending in the U.K. is around $25 million. The total global media outlay could not be immediately determined.

In the U.S., the client has recently worked with independent Wieden + Kennedy in New York and Interpublic’s Campbell-Mithun in Minneapolis.

However, Wieden and the client parted ways in December. “We reached a mutual conclusion that this was not the greatest partnership, but it was amicable,” said Wieden N.Y. managing director Buzz Sawyer.

Wieden handled Alberto Culver skincare lines including Noxzema and St. Ives.

Campbell-Mithun handles global creative duties on TRESemme and Nexxus, and will defend, confirmed agency evp Don Kvam, referring other questions to the client.

Aegis Group’s Carat is the media incumbent in the U.S., and sources familiar with the matter said the shop would defend.

The client confirmed that the review is the first it has conducted in over a decade. “We are extending a competitive bid for our global media and advertising services to accommodate our business needs for a larger beauty portfolio and to reach our consumers in a dramatically different media landscape from a decade ago,” the company said in a statement.

The review follows a number of acquisitions by the client to expand its business in recent years, including the December 2009 purchase of Simple Health & Beauty, based in the U.K., for approximately $385 million.

The company also acquired the Nexxus and Noxzema brands since its last review. As a result, “the organization’s key partnership needs have changed,” the client said. Among its goals: “A desire to be a consumer-first organization that develops keenly focused integrated communication rooted in strong consumer insights. The selected agencies will be [asked] to effectively communicate to our beauty consumer through both insightful and motivating advertising that will be strategically placed in media vehicles that surround and engage her,” the firm said.

Alberto Culver reported revenue of more than $1.4 billion in fiscal year 2009, and said it markets its beauty and household products in more than 120 countries worldwide.