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L’Oréal takes Universal McCann to be its lawful, wedded media agency

In November last year L’Oréal announced it would be parting ways with its media agency ZenithOptimedia after three years together and that a new agency would be announced in May this year. Zenith had inherited the business after L’Oréal’s agency Universal McCann ran into trouble in New Zealand a few years back, but although it was invited to pitch for the business, it declined. Since then, the business has been floating around and Zenith remained in place during the tendering process (some insiders feel the delay is because no-one actually wanted the account due to low margins and L’Oréal’s reputation as a fairly difficult client). But Universal McCann is now back in the fold and will take up the role as media agency in the Australia/New Zealand region. Universal McCann is aligned to L’Oréal internationally, but as there is no Universal McCann in New Zealand (McCann Worldgroup was started in 2008 and is still its creative agency in New Zealand), it’s safe to say the media marketing budget of more than NZ$92 million—$2 million of which is thought to be spent with ACP in New Zealand—will be controlled from either Sydney or Melbourne.

No-one from L’Oréal could be reached for comment. So here’s the official guff instead:

Since the beginning of this year L’Oréal has restructured a hub to refine the business in the Australian and New Zealand markets.  One important step in this process has been to reorganize all media management related activities like planning, buying and daily coordination, through one team across all four divisions in the ANZ region.

Universal McCann has a strong record as a dynamic and strategically competent media agency and is already a partner for the L’Oréal Group in many countries around the world.  In the ANZ region we have a long tradition in media together.

The new partnership differs from the former as we will now concentrate all media buying and planning to only one partner for all Divisions, in both countries. The media marketing budget in the region exceeds NZ$92million.

We are confident that we will achieve more synergies and maximize the efficiency with this new structure while continuing to strengthen the L’Oréal operations in both the Australian and New Zealand markets

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