Essence steps in to retain £100m L’Oreal media for WPP

WPP has just won (actually retained) a big one, L’Oreal UK which spends over £100m. But instead of staying with WPP’s Wavemaker (an amalgam of MEC and Maxus) it’s moving to Essence, WPP’s digitally focussed newbie media agency.

L’Oreal is unusual in that it chooses its media agencies on a local basis. Essence pitched against Publicis Groupe’s Zenith.

L’Oreal UK and Ireland MD Vismay Sharma says: “We’re proud to be a leading beauty tech innovator and digital-first company, and will always push ourselves to do more to transform the beauty experience for both consumers and the category at large. This newly formed partnership with Essence and WPP ensures we continue to push those boundaries, evolve as a business and grow together through better, technology-driven consumer experiences.”

Essence EMEA CEO, Tim Irwin says: “We are excited to help L’Oréal in the next phase of their transformation journey and share a deep-rooted belief in using technology to create better experiences for customers. We’re not only looking forward to building a new model for client/agency collaboration, but to setting new standards for what is possible in data analytics and media innovation.”

WPP CEO Mark Read will be chuffed, as will former Essence boss Nick Baughan who’s gone off to Facebook as its agencies head. Baughan had much to do with winning and keeping L’Oreal in what was then Maxus.

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About Stephen Foster

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Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.