Revlon is understood to have appointed Starcom to its £3m UK media planning and buying account, following a pitch against Vizeum. Incumbent PHD withdrew earlier in the pitch.
The UK appointment is part of a review of Revlon’s pan-European planning and buying business, but no decision has been made about its European arrangments.
It is likely to surprise industry observers, because Starcom handles r ival Procter & Gamble’s Global Prestige line of cosmetics.
The appointment follows Revlon’s first strong financial performance in more than six years. The company reported a 39% increase in fourth-quarter earnings in 2005, up from $46m (£26.4m) to $64m ($36.7m), bolstered by strong sales in new products such as Vital Radiance, a make-up brand aimed at older women.
The range, only available in the US, is marketed to women in their 50s, after its research found that cosmetics manufacturers were missing a vital segment of the anti-ageing market by targeting women in their 30s and 40s.
In the UK, Revlon has also been focusing on the older market. It recently turned its back on the traditional approach of using celebrities to endorse cosmetics products by searching for a “real” woman to be the face of its Age Defying make-up range.
The range, which contains vitamins, antioxidants and a patented ingredient called Botafirm, claims to reduce the appearance of wrinkles by 50% in two weeks.
Analysts say the focus on the older market has revived Revlon, which has recently been struggling with strong competition from L’Oreal’s Maybelline range and Procter & Gamble’s Cover Girl line.
Revlon declined to comment on the appointment as Marketing Week went to press.