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
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
It was decided then to divide the business along media lines, scotching
expectations that a single agency would emerge with the entire
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