Revlon Launches Global Media Review Less Than a Year After Consolidating With WPP

Grey will retain creative AOR duties

Mediacom won the account without a review in 2010. Getty Images
Headshot of Patrick Coffee

Multinational cosmetics conglomerate Revlon is reviewing its global media planning and buying business, according to several parties familiar with the matter.

The move comes approximately 10 months after the company consolidated both media and creative duties across its brand portfolio with WPP in the absence of a formal review. MediaCom, which initially won the North American account away from Carat in 2010 (also without a review), currently handles media around the world while Grey is creative agency of record for a company whose brands include Elizabeth Arden, Elizabeth Taylor, Cutex, Almay, Mitchum and more.

MediaCom will not be defending in the review.

“On March 23, Revlon informed us of its intent to begin a media review,” read a statement from an agency spokesperson. “We responded within 24 hours, letting the client know that we did not wish to participate. We thank Revlon for the opportunity to help grow its global brands over the past seven years and wish them well.”

The day after this story initially ran, a Revlon spokesperson provided a statement to Adweek.

“Revlon has decided to put our media business in review as part of our ongoing efforts to enhance our business operations and drive growth,” the statement read. “We appreciate MediaCom for their service of these past years, but at this time we have decided to go in a different direction.  The companies that are participating in the review are OMD part of Omnicom, Initiative, and, Havas.”

It is unclear whether Revlon is running the process internally. A Grey representative deferred to the client.

According to its own earnings reports, Revlon spent more than $400 million on paid media around the world in 2016. Kantar Media has the company’s 2017 U.S. budget at $81.6 million—a significant drop from the previous year’s $120 million total.

In its fourth quarter results for 2017, the company noted that sales decreased 1.8 percent year over year, with the drop “primarily driven by net sales declines in North America, partially offset by international growth within the Elizabeth Arden segment.”

According to recent reports in The Wall Street Journal and other publications, Revlon has also struggled with distribution issues for its various lines of products around the world.

The company’s Q1 earnings call is scheduled for Friday.

@PatrickCoffee Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.