Magazine article ADWEEK

Estee's Residence at JWT May Be Temporary Housing: 4 Vie for $120 Mil. Account, Now at WPP Shop

Magazine article ADWEEK

Estee's Residence at JWT May Be Temporary Housing: 4 Vie for $120 Mil. Account, Now at WPP Shop

Article excerpt

NEW YORK After WPP Group bought Cordiant Communications Group and divvied up the company's business among its own shops, the Estee Lauder account was parked at J. Walter Thompson. But since its relocation from Bates in September, the client has been quietly shopping for a permanent home.

Four New York-based agencies, including JWT, are pitching the $120 million business; the others are WPP's Ogilvy & Mather, Interpublic Group's Lowe and a unit of Omnicom Group's TBWA (believed to be Brand Architecture International), a client rep confirmed.

Bates in New York primarily handled media planning and buying, but the company is said to be open to ideas on brand strategy, according to sources. The rep would say only, "We're in the final stages of a review."

The agencies presented strategic and media ideas to the New York-based client during several meetings in November and December, said sources. Some shops teamed with sister media agencies. BAI, for example, pitched with executives from OMD, sources said.

The shops are awaiting a decision. A 15-member Estee Lauder account team, now at JWT, is expected to follow the business. The contenders declined comment.

Several top execs at the cosmetics giant, including recently named CEO William Lauder and group president Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, attended the presentations and will have a say in the selection, sources said.

Lauder, now chief operating officer, becomes CEO in July, succeeding Fred Langhammer, who will assume the new role of chairman, global affairs, the company said this month. …

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