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Coty Selects R/GA to Lead Creative Duties on Its New Hair-Care Brands Clairol and Wella

Beauty giant Coty has picked R/GA to handle creative marketing for its recently acquired hair care brands Clairol and Wella after a creative review.

Effective immediately, the agency will lead efforts to promote Clairol in the U.S. and Wella worldwide. Its consulting practice will also handle other unspecified brand strategy duties.

“Appointing R/GA will bring a new level of creativity and excitement to the Wella and Clairol brands,” read a statement from Coty svp of retail hair color and styling Rosa Ajjam, who called the news “a key part of our strategy to reinvigorate the retail hair category.” She added, “R/GA shares our bold ambitions and we’re confident that they are the right fit for the brands.”

R/GA global chief strategy officer Barry Wacksman said, “The beauty category overall and the retail hair category in particular are ripe for disruptive innovation. R/GA is incredibly excited to work with Coty on its ambitious transformation of the venerable Wella and Clairol brands.”

The agency once included brands like L’Oreal among its client roster, but has not produced any major campaigns in the beauty space for the past couple of years.

This review began after New York-based Coty finalized its merger with P&G’s specialty beauty business in October 2016, thereby acquiring the aforementioned brands in addition to cosmetics staples like Cover Girl and Max Factor, fragrances including Hugo Boss and Gucci and other assorted hair care products.

WPP’s Grey had been lead creative agency on both Clairol and Wella before P&G and Coty finalized the merger late last year. In February, Grey officially resigned from its duties on all brands involved in the deal including Cover Girl a few days before that brand went to Droga5. At the time, several parties claimed that budgetary concerns may have played a role in the decision. A Grey representative declined to comment.

According to the latest numbers from Kantar Media, P&G spent approximately $40 million on paid media promoting Clairol in the U.S. in 2015, $25 million in 2016 and $7 million in the first quarter of this year. Most campaigns for Wella are based in Europe, and global spending totals for the two brands were not available at the time this story went live.

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