NEW YORK: Procter & Gamble has awarded the account for its Clairol hair-color business - which includes four brands - to Marina Maher Communications (MMC).
The budget is undisclosed, but industry sources estimate it at between $1 million and $4 million.
As North American AOR, MMC will lead creative and strategic marketing communications for Nice 'n Easy, Natural Instincts, Herbal Essences, and Hydrience products.
Clairol had worked with boutique agency Blue Sky previously, but opted to move the business under one of the agencies in P&G's standing roster, said Francine Gingras, associate director of external relations.
P&G acquired Clairol in 2001.
Blue Sky held the account for eight years, since the inception of the agency, said president Diane Bates.
"We're not feeling it so much as a loss as much as an evolution for the agency," she said, emphasizing the good relationship the agency had with Clairol.
"The hair-color market was flat three years ago, but it's growing now," Gingras said. "Companies like ours are bringing products to market that are making the category more exciting."
MMC is currently working on introducing Teri Hatcher, star of Desperate Housewives, as the new face of Nice 'n Easy.
"She certainly personifies the brand," said Nancy Lowman LaBadie, EVP of the consumer practice group at MMC. "She's a mom. She works. She's a woman who reinvented her hair and her career."
MMC will continue to build brand equity for the products.
The agency will reach out to long- and short-lead titles and explore additional partnerships with celebrities, LaBadie noted.
It plans to leverage pop culture and lifestyle trends to promote the brands.
Clairol is also working with celebrity colorist Brad Johns, Clairol's global creative color director, who will serve as a spokesman and offer hair-color advice.
MMC has done project work with Clairol in the past and launched this summer's "Color Wonderful" campaign.
P&G has been an MMC client since 1989. The agency currently holds the Cover Girl and Cover Girl African-American accounts, as well as Head & Shoulders, Secret deodorant, Max Factor cosmetics, and the fabric home-care businesses.
The agency has also hired a new VP, Leslie Kickham, to help service the account.