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Sephora launches North American media review

Ad Age 05 Dec 2019 10:34

Sephora has launched a North American media review, according to an invite to pitch obtained by Ad Age. The LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton beauty retailer has not responded to a request for comment.

The invite, sent Nov. 25, stated that a review would begin immediately and last for "approximately four months." The document said that the U.S. portion of the review will cover media strategy, planning and buying for all media channels excluding addressable TV. In Canada, the invite said that the review spans strategy, planning and buying for all media channels supporting only its e-commerce business, sephora.ca.

"We are looking for a strategic agency partner that maximizes media holding group talents, thought leadership, tools, technology and media buying potential, while continuing to drive Sephora's leadership in prestige beauty retail," the invite read. The document included a nondisclosure agreement that prevents agencies from discussing the review with the media. Should the agency accept, the invite read, it would receive an RFI.

Global management consultancy ID Comms is managing the review, according to the invite. ID Comms declined to comment.

Several people close to the review said Omnicom, Horizon and incumbent Dentsu Aegis Network are competing, and that the review is currently in the RFI stage. Those agencies declined to comment. A decision is expected to be made in March, according to the people close to the process.

One person said that the account is worth approximately $250 million.

The review does not affect other LVMH brands including Dom Pérignon, Benefit Cosmetics, Marc Jacobs and Céline. It comes slightly more than a year after the French luxury goods conglomerate chose Dentsu to handle all of its North American buying and planning across all brands including Sephora. That decision followed a review that was also handled by ID Comms and concluded in August of 2018. At that time, Dentsu took the business away from Havas Media, which had previously worked with LVMH for nearly decade.

For the past few years, LVMH has been working to invest in strong marketing with a focus on digital, and the efforts appear to be paying off. LVMH's stock hit record highs in October after the company reported revenue rose 16 percent in the first nine months of its fiscal 2019 year, and 11 percent year-over-year. In those nine months, LVMH reported that its leather and fashion business was up an impressive 22 percent, and perfumes and cosmetics grew 11 percent.

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