Gotham, part of the Interpublic Group, is understood to be manoeuvring some of the 30m UK
L’Oréal advertising business out of sister agency McCann-Erickson.
Sources say the agency is targeting L’Oréal’s Maybelline account in the first instance, but will attempt to manage more of the cosmetics giant’s business over time.
Gotham’s UK office recently won the Gemey account in Europe. Gemey is part of Maybelline.
Gotham in New York is responsible for creating Maybelline’s global advertising, although it is handled through McCann in the UK.
Gotham’s London office handles the advertising for Yardley – a direct competitor of Maybelline. It is understood that Gotham is being retained by Yardley’s receivers, but the future of the account will depend on the brand’s buyer, yet to be determined.
However, Neil Hunt, managing director at Gotham, denies the move: “Gotham has not, does not, and will not work on L’Oréal.”
The news comes as Gotham’s future in the UK looks uncertain. Yardley was one of its main accounts, and its 10m launch of Ultrafem, the sanpro product from the US, has been delayed indefinitely. Another client, Arcadia-owned Evans, has recently taken its account in-house.
Until recently Gotham was a subsidiary of the Lowe Group, but it is now understood to have become a subsidiary of the McCann group.