Cosmetics company L’Oréal is shifting 15m of Laboratoires Garnier and Plénitude advertising business out of Foote Cone & Belding and into Publicis.
The move is the direct result of the divorce of the two agencies, which previously shared a European joint venture company Publicis-FCB, in which Publicis had a 51 per cent stake.
It was finally dissolved last month following 12 months of wrangling as the nine-year partnership between Publicis and FCB’s parent True North collapsed.
Publicis handles the L’Oréal account in the majority of European markets and already handles L’Oréal Fragrances in the UK. The loss of the business is a serious blow for FCB which handles L’Oréal in several Asian, South and North American markets. Its UK chairman Robert Hamer says it “is too early to tell” what will happen with the account in the UK.
But the agencies and the company are already involved in negotiations to shift the skincare and haircare brands involved – Laboratoires Garnier and Plénitude – into Publicis by the end of April.
The L’Oréal Paris brands will also move into Publicis. L’Oréal says the decision is the result of a “worldwide reorganisation” between FCB and Publicis. “It is a clearing up exercise to improve worldwide co-ordination,” says a L’Oréal spokesman.