Benckiser has kicked off an advertising pitch for its youth
cosmetics range, Rimmel, as it attempts to re-establish the brand as a
significant player in the UK market.
The pitch-list comprises Ammirati Puris Lintas, Bartle Bogle Hegarty, J.
Walter Thompson and Roose and Partners as part of the international
Testa group. BMP DDB, Benckiser’s centralised media buyer, is unaffected
by the review. Advertising spend is expected to rise by pounds 2 million
to top pounds 6 million in 1997.
The pitch, which takes place next Monday, is being led by Margaret
Donnelly, Coty UK’s marketing director for mass cosmetics.
Benckiser’s advertising rethink follows a reorganisation of its brands -
the company recently split its detergent products, such as Vanish and
Finish, from its cosmetics brands Coty, Lancaster and Rimmel. These have
all now been put together within one division.
The last agency to advertise Rimmel in the UK was Abbott Mead Vickers
BBDO. Andrew Robertson, AMV’s managing director, said AMV parted company
with Rimmel last year following the brand’s acquisition by Benckiser
from Unilever. Since then, advertising generated by Rimmel’s Italian
agency have been running in the UK. AMV is not on the pitch-list.
Benckiser bought Unilever’s European mass-market cosmetic interests in
March 1996. The deal included the acquisition of the Rimmel-Chicogo
business, which gave the soap giant international rights to the Rimmel,
Pierre Robert, Sensiq and Chicogo brands plus production facilities in
Ashford in the UK and Erkath near Dusseldorf in Germany.
Donnelly was unavailable for comment as Campaign went to press.