Kao USA Names Arnold NY After Creative Review

Media spend nearly $40 million

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Kao USA has tapped Arnold in New York to handle the creative responsibilities for global brands John Frieda, Jergens, Bioré and Curél. 

The Havas agency won the business following a review. Media spending was more than $38 million last year, according to Nielsen.

Arnold will take the reins from Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners, which agreed to a mutual separation from the company earlier this year.  KBS+P won the business in 2003, when annual media spending was almost $100 million.

"Our decision came down to our confidence in the quality of the team, insights on brands and ideas to build our business," said Dave Muenz, vp and regional executive officer for Kao USA's mass business sector, in a statement. "We also felt a strong sense of connection with them. We look forward to our new partnership with Arnold."

Joanne Davis Consulting managed the search, which came down to three finalists, according to a source.

Publicis Groupe's DigitasLBi (digital) and Spark (media planning and buying) also work for the company. 

@KristinaMonllos kristina.monllos@adweek.com Kristina Monllos is a senior editor for Adweek.