By  on June 17, 1994

PORTO CERVO, Sardinia -- With the luxurious Costa Smeralda resort area as a backdrop and two days of circus-like spectacle as a vehicle, the Lancaster Group unveiled plans for its next two fragrance launches here last weekend.

The products, scheduled to bow throughout most of Europe in September, are a women's scent, Sculpture from Nikos Parfums, and a men's item, Heaven from Parfums Chopard.

"These two launches are important to Lancaster because they are the first international launches we've done," said Michael Fuerster, executive vice president of Lancaster Group Worldwide, who is responsible for much of the company's product development.

"Previously, when we launched, we concentrated [first] on German-speaking markets," he said.

Although the two scents won't make Lancaster number one in the international market, according to Peter Harf, the chief executive officer of Lancaster Group Worldwide, they are intended to make sure Lancaster can "play an important role in the beauty business."

To that end, Lancaster plans to throw its full weight behind the brands. To get the program started, the scents were introduced to about 200 journalists who were invited for two all-expense-paid days filled with entertainments as diverse as lavish dinners, trapeze acts and ballet. WWD, as is its policy, paid its own way.

Initially, Lancaster plans to spend around $30 million on advertising and promotional support for each brand.

The company will spend at least another $30 million on each product for the first year following the launch period.

"That seems to be what you need to spend these days," Harf said, adding that the budget will be similar when the scents hit additional markets next year.

Each brand will be promoted with a print ad campaign, scheduled to appear in roughly 50 European publications, as well as a commercial intended for both TV and movie houses.

Some form of scent inserts will be used, Fuerster said.

While Harf declined to give precise volume projections, he said the two new fragrances will be "successful" if they achieve a worldwide wholesale volume of $70 million to $80 million apiece within two or three years.

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