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Marianne Paskowski

L’Oreal Tells Oscars: ‘You’re Not Worth It’

February 17, 2009 11:46 AM

L’Oreal, one of the Academy Awards’ biggest sponsors last year with its catchy slogan “Because You’re Worth It,” apparently has had a change of heart and will not sponsor the Oscars this Sunday on ABC.


Last year the cosmetics giant bought eight spots in the Academy Awards. This year it took a pass altogether, even though ABC reportedly has lowered the cost of a 30-second spot during the awards show from $1.8 million to roughly $1.4 million.

Clearly the dismal economy entered into L’Oreal’s decision. But maybe the advertiser was fearful of consumer backlash, according to today’s New York Post.

If that’s the case, L’Oreal with its aspirational brands of face and hair care products sold primarily in drug stores, erred in judgment by skipping this opportunity to appeal to cost-conscious viewers.

A large part of the fun of watching the Oscars is the voyeuristic aspect, seeing how the stars look and what they are wearing during television’s second-largest broadcast.

L’Oreal should have tweaked its message to say something like, “Look Like a Million for Far Less.”

That kind of message would resonate with women watching at home who are already pinching pennies, as they flee Saks’ cosmetics counters to buy beauty products at CVS.

Clearly L’Oreal is another so-called paradox of saving: By not advertising, it is not encouraging customers to modestly spend their way out of this deep and prolonged recession.


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Comments (10)

Here is a real opportunity to pick up the Gauntlet and run-a-way with it!

ABC and Madison Avenue COULD have an advertising blitz with the times and all the realities...instead, "Oh, no...30 Second spot sales are down".

There is a major Silver Lining to this cloud of "Bad Times". It's all a matter of how one looks at it and reacts, rather ACTS!

Faith, Hope, Making Do, all lead to realization of Promise and movement to better times.

What was, is just that...what WAS. Forget it...Stop it!

Roll up your sleaves, put pep in your step and dance on towards the Future and positive living of every moment.
Peter Bright

Marianne Paskowski:

Hi Peter,
You're spot on here, mad ave, ABC and L'Oreal missed a huge opportunity here.

I remember some of the spots from past recessions, not necessarily during the Oscars, but ads for "I'm not gonna pay a lot for this muffler."

That's a smart message, and good for an advertiser that knows consumers are tapped out, but you have to keep the wheels of commerce greased and that people still need basic goods and services.

Savvy marketers like Wal-Mart know and have benefited from very targeted messages...m

Jeff Mulligan:


You're the one thinking like a true marketer. L'Oreal isn't. A campaign showing how L'Oreal helps the intelligent consumer cope with tough times, exhibiting sympathy and a true solution, is how to reach a key demographic and psychographic segment with a competitively powerful message. Not advertising means not being there for the customer. Period. Sales will soon disappear because of the departed budget.

WalMart extensively advertises how much its customers save. WalMart stock is one of the few issues hanging in there as the stock market tanks. A coincidence? I think not!



Yo, Blondie --

At least the Republicans can now see how L'Oreal--like most companies--would handle a tax break as an economic stimulus. Do nothing. Don't invest (which is what advertising is). Be fearful.

No wonder that Obama, quite rightly, recognizes that kick-starting the economy means forcing spending by guaranteeing no-brainer profit opportunities to job-creating companies.

Cruisin not bruisin


Miss Marianne,

L'Oreal probably has said enough to women concerned about appearance who watch the Academy Awards. The company likely wants to develop new markets, by advertising on Spike or something. Reach those guys who'll buy facial cleanser for their women, along with a six-pack of beer and quart of motor oil.

Poindexter punts

Marianne Paskowski:

Hi Jeff,

I really think L'Oreal missed a huge opportunity here, with so many women watching the Oscars, a huge mass audience wanting to look good during these stinking times.

Hey, maybe Cash4Gold will pick up the ad time...m

Marianne Paskowski:

Hi Cruiser,
Not quite sure about the ownership of L'Oreal but it seems to be European with many other brands, some high end brands that sell in department stores and not drug stores. Maybe L'Oreal, the drug store brand is trying to appear more upscale than it actually is, who knows?I just think it's a dumb move.

Marianne Paskowski:

Hi Poindexter,

Interesting that you wrote what you did: just saw a L'Oreal ad on Anderson Cooper on CNN.

Maybe L'Oreal thinks watching news will produce more wrinkles, and the company is right about that.

Problem: Nothing about the value proposition, totally forgettable, can't even remember what L'Oreal was pushing.

Andy S.:

Their decision is that much more dubious when you consider that their prime spokesperson, Penelope Cruz, is up for a statuette.


Because your hair is worth more than your house.

Marianne Paskowski:

You are a font of knowledge! And I'm sure L'Oreal loves your new slogan for its product line:)

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