The company is understood to have contacted nine agencies to pitch for the business, which involves online marketing and website design.
There will be two pitches for the account, one in New York and one in Paris. Initial pitch meetings are scheduled for the second week in December.
Until now, L'Oreal has taken an ad hoc approach to its digital marketing, with local agencies appointed to individual projects.
The cosmetics giant is talking to agencies with international capabilities, but the size of the task is a potential problem - few networks can offer the global breadth that handling L'Oreal's global online marketing would require.
L'Oreal is the UK's third-largest advertiser, according to Nielsen Media Research, and spends more than $1.6 billion above the line globally.
Its creative account is shared globally between Publicis and McCann Erickson. Earlier this year, L'Oreal consolidated its pan-European media planning and buying into ZenithOptimedia.
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