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News Plus 2 Mar 2021 - 3 min read

Eyeliner and analytics: L'Oreal pitch underway, beauty brand names ex-AT Kearney analyst as data boss

By Josh McDonnell - Senior Writer

L'Oreal has kicked off its media pitch process, Mi3 understands, with at least two of the major holding groups involved alongside incumbent Carat. As it pushes deeper into ecommerce, the cosmetics giant is also bolstering data and analytics capability, hiring ex-AT Kearney analyst Christelle Young.

What you need to know:

  • L'Oreal is pitching its $40 million media account out of Melbourne.
  • At least two holding groups are vying for the business, currently held by Carat.
  • The cosmetics giant has also hired a new head of data and analytics, former Kearney Senior Consultant Christelle Young.

Cosmetic changes

International beauty brand L'Oreal is pitching its $40 million media account, agency sources have confirmed.

The brand and incumbent agency Carat dismissed persistent rumours of a pitch late last year, despite the contract between the two parties wrapping up in November.

Mi3 understands that agencies from at least two of the major holding groups will also be involved, alongside Dentsu's Carat defending.

L'Oreal is managing procurement and the pitch internally, with the first round of RFPs already issued.

The brand declined to comment on the pitch.

Digital media and e-commerce strategy are also a major focus of the pitch, in-line with ongoing changes within the business globally.

In 2019, L'Oreal opted to move its global account into WPP, creating a bespoke agency centred around digital shop Essence.

Given multiple agencies are pitching, it is not yet clear that L'Oreal plans to mirror that strategy in Australia as it operates outside of global mandate. However, GroupM is looking to ramp up the local presence of Essence in Australia and WPP is busy rolling agencies together to make them more capable while simplifying reporting structures.

Meanwhile, L'Oreal is bolstering internal data and analytics capability, hiring Christelle Young as its new Chief Strategy & Analytics Officer for ANZ.

The former AT Kearney consultant has spent the last 18-months working with transportation and logistics firm Toll Group as GM Transformation and Analytics.

Social selling

Young's appointment is not directly linked to the ongoing media pitch but indicates the cosmetics brand's digital intent.

In 2019, L’Oreal completed a research project that saw the Australian and New Zealand business reweight media investment from YouTube to TV and Instagram in 2020, while at the same time running less ad campaigns overall.

Late last year, the cosmetics brand took a minority investment in US-American social selling platform Replika Software, which enables brands to activate 'social sellers' or influencers at scale to push more product.

L’Oréal Chief Digital Officer Lubomira Rochet said ecommerce now provides 25% of L’Oréal’s revenues and that the rise of social commerce presents "a great opportunity for our brands to reinvent the consumer beauty experience worldwide".

She added: "Our ambition is to crack this new channel and create a healthy and dynamic ecosystem of social sellers for the beauty category".

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