Cosmetic Changes in Store

Eisner Gains Beauty Retailer With a Profit Blemish
ATLANTA–Cosmetic Center, a client with a blemish on its balance sheet, has placed its advertising account at Eisner & Associates in the wake of hiring a turnaround specialist last year.
The account, the Baltimore agency said, is projected to bill $4 million this year. Previously, it was handled internally.
Eisner officials said they had been in touch with the company months before it went into review, and they were not the only shop considered. Cosmetic Center officials could not be reached at press time for comment.
The client operates retail locations in major markets along the East Coast and in Chicago, as well as nearly 200 outlet stores throughout the U.S. Its primary selling point is name brand cosmetics, health and beauty aids and fragrances at lower price points than those at department stores.
“We’re going to help with their tactical marketing challenges,” said Eisner vice president of new business development Abe Novick. “We’ll also help with strategic planning and positioning as they move forward.”
Betsy Burton, who has a reputation as a turnaround specialist, was hired to run Cosmetic Center last summer. The chain was once primarily owned by Revlon Inc., which sold its 85 percent stake to York Management Services, a privately held investment firm, at the end of 1998.
Though the client posted a loss of almost $5 million in 1997, it recently obtained a $70 million line of credit, according to The Washington Business Journal.
Novick said the company has been using newspapers as its prime media vehicle, but that the agency would explore other avenues.
“I think they’re looking beyond what has been done before,” he said, adding broadcast, print, direct and other media would be included in the mix.
“Eisner’s strategic approach to understanding consumer motivations, their in-depth knowledge of retail marketing and their capabilities as an integrated full-service agency were exactly what we were looking for,” said client vice president of marketing Maxine Schwartz in a statement.