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This story first appeared in the May 15 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
This year marks L’Oreal’s 18th as the beauty sponsor of Cannes. And the international giant’s ambassadors — actresses and models from around the world, most of whom appear in print and TV ads — are the best way to promote the brand. This year, in order of years served, Andie MacDowell (30), Gong Li (19), Aishwarya Rai (12), Eva Longoria (10), Fan Bingbing (five), Liya Kebede (four), Ines de la Fressange (four), Julianne Moore (three) and Naomi Watts (one) will hit the Palais carpet. (Blake Lively and Zoe Saldana won’t attend.) Each will report for duty for up to five days, including ad work.
“The beauty of Cannes is that it’s a singular opportunity to gather our girls,” L’Oreal CEO Jean-Paul Agon tells THR. “It takes a year to plan, between makeup artists, designers, hairstylists and our dream team of spokespeople.” Ad shoots, as many as eight evening appearances and press days are the tip of the iceberg: “We invite our ambassadors to take over the L’Oreal Paris social media channels. The festival is our marquee event to debut new products and celebrate existing ones.” As for pay beyond first-class flights and free glam squads, L’Oreal won’t comment, but with $18.5 billion in sales through September 2014, clearly their ambassadors are worth it.
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