Grey gives up on Coty as creative stars vie for beauty brands


WPP’s Grey has resigned its short-lived Coty business citing “financial differences.” It worked on the various beauty brands Procter & Gamble sold to Coty last year (P&G is a longstanding Grey client).

Coty, now helmed by former RB boss Bart Becht, had been shuffling its agencies anyway. Droga5 has won Cover Girl, Sally Hansen has moved to Anomaly, Rimmel has gone to BETC while Max Factor outside the US reportedly has a star-studded pitch list of Anomaly, adam&eveDDB and the The&Partnership.

It hasn’t been all plain sailing for Coty since it bought the P&G brands. Sales in its consumer beauty business dropped sharply at the end of last year.

Coty is a hard bargainer with agencies, insisting on unpopular 120 day payment terms. But Becht may have to give way on these if he wants the best talent to revive his expensively-acquired business. Coty is now the world’s biggest beauty specialist though, hence its attraction for the likes of A&E, Anomaly and droga5.

As for Grey this tidies up a potential conflict. WPP bought Grey in the first place because of two big clients: P&G and pharma giant GSK. Sooner or later Coty would have been a conflict with P&G.

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