Shake that body: Revlon taps Young & Rubicam for international assignment

Revlon has selected Young & Rubicam for its international agency of record assignment, excluding the United States and Canada. The win could be worth between $40 million and $60 million, according to several sources familiar with the review.
A Revlon executive confirmed Friday that Y&R had been tapped for the lucrative assignment. The move does not affect Revlon in-house shop Tarlow Advertising/N.Y, which handles advertising in North America. The Revlon executive said that Y&R will handle the client’s overseas media placement and buying. “Y&R will modify and translate Tarlow executions to make them appropriate for local markets,” she said.
With Y&R emerging as the winner in a review that began late last summer (ADWEEK, Sept. 14), the agency will assume responsibilities previously scattered among shops around the world.
Two other shops thought to have participated in the review are Saatchi & Saatchi Co. PLC-owned CME-KHBB, which dropped out in the early stages, and Bozell.
Sources familiar with the pitch indicated that the client has a keen interest in branding its business internationally. For instance, one shop said it was eliminated from the review in its early stages because it lacked a network in Asia, adding that Y&R’s presence there was a selling point for the agency.
Revlon is heavily dependent on Tarlow for crafting its image, and while the client is said to be comfortable with the shop, it needed an agency that could work with it internationally, as Revlon now distributes its products globally.
“The issue for them is world-branding for some of the key lines,” said one source.
In its May 1992 prospectus for a proposed public offering, Revlon said it believed the international skin care, fragrance and personal care products market represents a “significant growth opportunity.” It also said it was planning a “more uniform global image” for its product lines under the Revlon and Flex banners.
Overall, Revlon’s international operations encompass over 100 countries and accounted for roughly 37% of the company’s 1991 net sales. The beauty company plans to market U.S.-only brands overseas and expand the distribution of certain local brands, “such as the expansion of Colorama from Brazil to other Latin American markets,” according to the prospectus.
Meanwhile, an initial public offering from Revlon, slated for last July but postponed because of a weak stock market, appears to be on track for another attempt this spring, according to cosmetics industry insiders (ADWEEK, Jan. 4). Sources speculated that the cosmetics giant would file another public offering in March for the “New Revlon.”
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)