Coty seeks agency for Adidas range

Coty, the French cosmetics firm, has invited agencies to pitch for its international Adidas personal care range business. The move is likely to renew speculation that Coty is preparing to take on the top three cosmetics giants L'Oreal, Unilever and Procter & Gamble.

A Coty spokeswoman confirmed that agencies have presented advertising ideas for the complete range of Adidas-branded products which includes male and female toiletries, perfumes, deodorants and aftershaves. The pitch is being handled out of Coty's headquarters in Paris, but no appointment has been made.

Coty declined to comment on the value of the account or to confirm which agencies have been invited to pitch. The move follows its decision in 1999 to appoint Leagas Delaney to handle the £5m launch of its Adidas-branded men's toiletries.

At the time analysts were predicting that Coty would launch an assault on mass market fragrances by acquiring and rolling out brands globally.

However, this did not materialise and following a TV and press campaign by Leagas Delaney, Coty resumed advertising in-house.

Coty has a licence to market Adidas products and has developed ten different ranges including Classic, Sport, Dynamic and Action. It also has a licence to sell Club Med branded goods and has just launched a fragrance in France which it plans to bring to the UK. It also owns the Rimmel and Lancaster brands.