Mindshare wins biggest-ever China pitch

29 October 2010

BEIJING: L'Oréal, the world's largest cosmetics company, has appointed Mindshare to become their "media agency of record" in China.

L'Oréal is already one of the largest advertisers in the region, and will spend a projected US$2.5bn (€1.8bn, £1.6bn) on media in China this year.

Global sales for the cosmetics firm are worth around $23bn per year.

But a separate estimate from Advertising Age suggests that the account is actually worth around $1bn, once China's media discounts are taken into account.

Competition to win the pitch was frenetic, and L'Oréal described the process as "the largest advertising pitch ever to take place in China".

Mindshare, a GroupM company and part of the WPP Group, will therefore receive a major boost to its Asian business, having beaten out its rivals.

RECMA estimate Mindshare's global billings to be worth around $84.2bn.

Ashutosh Srivastava, Mindshare Asia Pacific ceo, said: "Mindshare has long held the top position in China, yet the team there always fights for our clients with the passion and energy of an underdog."

The entire L'Oréal portfolio in China is to be consolidated, with Mindshare's new remit involving media responsibility for brands such as Lancome, Maybelline New York, Kerastase and L'Oréal Paris.

Melvyn Goh, president of Mindshare China, commented: "Not only will we continue our partnership with such a great company, but we will also be able to cascade our best practices to the rest of the L'Oréal portfolio."

He went on to describe the sea change in consumer attitudes that has occurred in the region during recent years.

"The growing prosperity in China has forever changed the way we consume media, view brands and judge products," Goh said.

"As income increases, so do the number of [Chinese] people that will be placing a greater emphasis on quality."

Data sourced from Mindshare/Advertising Age; additional content by Warc staff