L'Oréal brings in Terry to work with The Body Shop

Cosmetics giant L'Oréal UK has appointed a former Coca-Cola comms chief to its top PR role.

Terry: will head team
Terry: will head team

Louise Terry takes the role of director of internal and external affairs, replacing Esra Erkal-Paler who quit last month (PRWeek, 21 July 2007). She will lead a four-strong corporate comms team and report to L’Oréal vice-chairman Sylvia Jay.

The cosmetics house said that Terry would play an important role as a liaison between L’Oréal and The Body Shop. L’Oréal bought the ethical beauty chain last year amid a flurry of coverage focusing on Body Shop founder Anita Roddick’s estimated £130m payout.

Since 2004, Terry has worked for L’Oréal on a consultancy basis, occasionally covering for colleagues during maternity leave. Before that, she was director of comms at Coca-Cola, where she doubled the drinks company’s in-house PR team (PRWeek, 18 July 1997). Terry is also deputy chair of UK charity Save the Children.

L’Oréal’s previous comms chief Erkal-Paler left after six years to spend time with her family. A former corporate affairs head at Unilever, she is set to return to PR later this year, possibly with her own consultancy.

The appointment of Terry as director of internal and external affairs comes as L’Oréal faces buyout speculation in the business press.

Nestlé, which currently owns a 28.5 per cent stake in L’Oréal, is said to be mulling over an offer for the beauty company. Nestlé director of finance Paul Polman this month told a group of London analysts that the beauty house represents a ‘very good investment’.

As well as The Body Shop, L’Oréal controls makeup brands including Lancôme, Kiehl’s, and Shu Uemura, and holds perfume licenses for fashion houses Giorgio Armani and Ralph Lauren.

The cosmetics firm plans to team up with Terry’s ex-employer Coca-Cola to launch a ‘beauty beverage’ called Lumaé, expected to launch in 2008. The drink will contain skin care ingredients intended to improve the consumer’s appearance.

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