Initiative and CIA to battle for Calvin Klein prize

Calvin Klein is preparing to launch a winner-takes-all pan-European media pitch and is lining up its two incumbents, CIA Medianetwork and Initiative Media, to fight for the pounds 60 million account.

Calvin Klein is preparing to launch a winner-takes-all pan-European

media pitch and is lining up its two incumbents, CIA Medianetwork and

Initiative Media, to fight for the pounds 60 million account.



The business, which covers Calvin Klein fragrances and cosmetics, is

currently split between the two networks, with CIA handling all

pan-European non-broadcast buying and Initiative buying all broadcast

media.



The current arrangements were arrived at after a review three years ago,

before which the same two agencies were used on a country-by-country

basis.



It was decided then to divide the business along media lines, scotching

expectations that a single agency would emerge with the entire

account.



However, the fierce competition in the cosmetics market and the recent

performance of Calvin Klein’s fragrances have prompted a rethink.



Although a full centralisation is once again not a certainty, the

cosmetics house is said to be keen on further consolidation. Calvin

Klein is understood to be looking for greater media efficiencies and a

more coherent media strategy. The planned review of the business is

expected to kick off in earnest early next month.



A Calvin Klein spokesperson confirmed the company was conducting a

’routine review’ of its two agencies across Europe.



The UK and Germany are among the biggest European markets for Calvin

Klein, with UK spend topping pounds 8 million. The biggest brands in the

portfolio include Eternity, Eternity for Men, Obsession and Escape.



Calvin Klein cosmetics and fragrances is owned by Unilever, and is a

separate company from the Calvin Klein fashion brand.



The company, which has made a speciality of launching unisex fragrances,

including CK One and CK Be, used the supermodel, Christy Turlington, to

launch its latest brand, Contradiction, in the UK earlier this year. All

creative work is developed in-house.



Initiative handles the majority of Unilever’s media buying around Europe

but, in recent years, CIA has established a foothold on the Unilever

roster.



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