The new fragrance line will join other celebrity-endorsed Elizabeth Arden fragrances, by names including Elizabeth Taylor and Britney Spears.
The company, which did not disclose the financial terms of the agreement, will draw inspiration for the new line on Duff's image and taste.
“Hilary is the natural choice to reach fragrance buyers of all ages here and abroad, as she is recognized globally for her tremendous talent and glamorous star appeal,” said Elizabeth Arden chief executive officer Scott Beattie.
Elizabeth Arden's first step in a strategy to target younger customers came in 2002 with the company's signing of Welsh actress Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Its licensing deal with 22 year-old Britney Spears last year, initially cited as ‘risky' by analysts, proved a successful marketing strategy, with Britney Spear's perfume, Curious, becoming the number one selling women's fragrance during the all-important holiday season in 2004.
Coty is another large player in the market for celebrity-endorsed fragrances. The US company has perfume lines bearing the names of celebrities such as Celine Dion, Jennifer Lopez and David and Victoria Beckham.
A recent report by market analysts Mintel revealed that although the US market for fragrances has shown a distinct downturn in recent years, the continued strength of big name endorsements contributed significantly to an upturn in 2004.
“The declining women's fragrance market in the US hides a frenetic ‘backstage' environment where manufacturers and retailers are pursuing several avenues to try to ignite sales and excitement. With the industry leaning heavily towards celebrity endorsements and the association with status, this category is expected to grow sales,” said the report.
The report added that big name endorsements are prohibitively expensive for all but the largest cosmetics companies.
Yet despite the expense, the right endorsement can create leading sales, as demonstrated by the Britney Spears endorsed fragrance, Curious. But equally Mintel pointed out that mixing the wrong name with wrong product can be a disastrous and very costly exercise for cosmetic companies.
Simply put, the perfume industry is big business and celebrity sells. According to market research company Euromonitor, the fragrance industry was worth $22.4 billion (€18.5 bn) in 2003, for fragrance sales alone, not including extended product lines. Of that, premium brands accounted for nearly $15 billion (€12 bn), and products with mass-market appeal US$ 7.7 billion (€6 bn).
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