WORD AROUND TOWN
Eric Ducournau, CEO, Pierre Fabre Group
“To be successful in PR a company needs more of a partner than a provider of services. Especially if the company represented is a foreign one, and not fully known in the US, and whose values need to be expressed with the same passion dedicated to presenting products. What Pierre Fabre Group, and our brands Eau Thermale Avène, Klorane and René Furterer, have found in Karen Oliver and her KO&A Team is a huge sensitivity, a very personalized and customized approach integrating KOLs and journalists, and a clear wish to be involved in the brand strategy. In a very noisy world this is a unique type of team able to make your brands different, very recognizable, and to create long, human, sustainable links between you and the media.”
Hubert Bevelsborg, Owner and General Manager, Skin-Aktiv GmbH, and former President and CEO, Pierre Fabre USA
"When I arrived from Europe as the new President and CEO of Pierre Fabre USA in 2006, I was charged with building and sustaining the visibility, growth and success of our dermo-cosmetics brands Eau Thermale Avène, Glytone, Klorane and René Furterer in America. This was a significant challenge, given that while these French brands are highly successful all over the world, they were virtually unknown in the US. My first priority was to find the best public relations partner for Avène."
"From the moment I met Karen Oliver, I was impressed with her high energy, her enthusiasm and positive attitude, her genuine love of people, and with how much she knew—and understood—about Avène. Karen recognized the power of its legacy as a science-backed brand dedicated to sensitive skin and how to maximize it by broadening its target audience. Karen proposed, 'If Avène is perfect for even the most sensitive, intolerant skin because of its unparalleled, high standards of safety and purity, then why not position its gentleness and high performance as beneficial for ALL skin types?'"
"I knew that Karen was going to be the one to help propel Avène to new heights in the US. With their hands-on approach, dedication and diligence, Karen and her team quickly proved they were our 'Secret Weapon!' Seeing the impressive results that Karen Oliver and Associates delivered in exponentially increasing Avène’s exposure and brand recognition, I soon followed up by signing up KO&A to represent all of the Pierre Fabre dermo-cosmetic brands in the US. It was one of the best business decisions I ever made!"
Didier Malige, Renowned Celebrity / Editorial Hairstylist
"You and the people from René Furterer have always supported me more than anybody else in the beauty industry. Thank you for your deep loyalty. All my best wishes in the future of your very personal press office."
Leah Wyar Romito, Vice President / General Manager, Dotdash (Byrdie, MyDomaine, Brides)
"Karen Oliver & Associates is a group of women for whom I have the deepest respect. Karen herself is considered to be a fairy godmother of sorts to many beauty editors, including myself. A mentor, a friend, a creative burst of energy every time you see her: all of which plays out in her client relationships. The team is passionate about their clients, brings strength in ideas and execution and treats each client (and editor) as though they're the only thing on their mind in that moment."
"Recently I was asked what creative mailer left a mark on me in the last year: without hesitation it was Pierre Fabre’s "Bastille Day" townhouse, which was filled with drawers of some of the best beauty products from KO&A’s clients, found at pharmacies across France. It was eye-catching, memorable, useable (I took every product home!) and above all, it was made with cardboard, so I was able to enjoy it guilt-free, knowing I could recycle it. Having the reassurance that KO&A represents only quality brands with such high values, I am happy and proud to recommend Karen and her team whole-heartedly!"
Laurent Saffré, Head of Oceania region (Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands) at Pierre Fabre Group, and former President and CEO, Pierre Fabre USA
"I have been working with Karen Oliver and her associates for more than 7 years. I can share only highly positive feedback around what I consider an amazing partnership. Karen was able to highlight our brands’ DNA and enhance their core values to the world, including printed press, TV and influencers."
"Our company purpose resonated very well with her own philosophy and values. Authenticity, innovation and caring for others were among these invaluable add-ons to a traditional press release or any kind of product promotion. Not only can Karen Oliver put a brand on the US map, but more importantly, she can rely on a very strong network of professionals convinced by years of loyalty and caring, which is an invaluable asset. I would recommend Karen Oliver and Associates to anyone who wants to succeed in the USA within the beauty and fashion industry."
Yolanda Yoh Bucher, Co-Founder and Founding Editor in Chief of NewBeauty Magazine
"In my role as Co-Founder and Editor in Chief of NewBeauty magazine, I saw countless product pitches, new launch product events and plenty of press trips. I can say that Karen Oliver and team stand out as a unique and unparalleled PR company."
"Their passion for the brands they represent goes above and beyond anything I’ve encountered in the beauty industry. It is evident that they truly care."
"They treat the brands they work on and the editors they know as one big family that they take joy in uniting. They have the unique ability to continually pitch and re-invent core and hero products, not just the new ones. As an Editor, I can honestly say that keeping their products top of mind helped us do our jobs, and reminded us of products that otherwise might not have gotten coverage."
Karen Rohweder, former Marketing Manager, Eau Thermale Avène / Pierre Fabre USA
"When I first arrived from Europe to manage the Avène brand, Avène had little brand recognition here. All that changed when KO&A began to represent Avène. Their tailored, bespoke services elevated the exposure of Avène to cult-favorite status, giving it unprecedented visibility. Today Avène is also an award-winning brand, the recipient of numerous prestigious beauty awards bestowed by iconic titles such as Allure, InStyle and NewBeauty."
"On a personal note, not only has Karen Oliver been an incredible gift to the Pierre Fabre corporation, but she is also someone I could always turn to and put complete faith in to always keep my best interests at heart. Avène could not have reached the success it has in the US today without the enthusiasm, energy, laser focus and customized approach that KO&A excels in, always with a real warmth and kindness that I will never forget. "
Katie Becker, Beauty & Health Director, ELLE
"I’ve worked with Karen Oliver and her team for a decade. Karen herself is one of the most talented and experienced publicists in the game and makes it a marked point to make personal connections with editors. I’ve even had the pleasure of traveling abroad with her to meet her brands. It’s my affinity for her and her team that turns my head when a mailer is sent in from KO&A or an invite comes to my inbox with Karen’s name. I care about what they care about. To boot, the entire team operates with an organization, accountability, and quality that most agencies have forgone in recent years. I don’t know how they do it, but it’s why I love working with them. "
Paul Winnington, Editorial Director, Bryn Mawr Communications, III LLC
"I have had the pleasure of working with Karen Oliver and her team for many years and continue to be impressed with their creative approaches and their attention to detail. Beyond demonstrating an intimate knowledge of the brands they work with, the team shows a depth of understanding of the market and the unique positioning of our publications. This has allowed us to develop a true working relationship. They provide resources and supporting materials in a timely manner and always with their signature friendly touch."
Marisa Berenson, Fashion Muse, Beauty Icon, Actress, Supermodel, Entrepreneur
"Karen Oliver is a Master. She excels in everything she does, she does it to perfection, does it with elegance and kindness, with beauty, with precision and efficiency, with passion. She makes her clients feel like family, and every project personal, filled with her amazing capacity for love, her fine intelligence, her wonderful taste and creativity."
"I have worked with many over the years, but rarely have I come across such a perfect being, with such honesty and integrity, with such positive energy—beautiful inside and out as an angel shining her energy and light on everyone she comes in contact with. Therefore, she is loved and admired."
"I feel blessed to have had Karen and her wonderful team by my side when I launched my beauty line, Marisa Berenson, Sublime Care, in the US, and to have her as a most precious friend."
Mark Husmann, Co-founder of Integrated Branding and Media Group
"Karen and her entire group come up with the most unique and creative ways to engage audiences. Every touch point down to the smallest detail is carefully thought out and executed beautifully."
Pete Born, Editor at Large, WWD
"I have worked with and known Karen Oliver for many years. She is a consummate professional, who knows exactly what a journalist needs and provides it with proficiency and grace. She is genuinely interested in building a great story."
Heather Muir Maffei, Beauty Director, Real Simple and Health
“Over the past 14 years of my beauty editorial career, I have worked with a countless number of amazing women but one who comes to mind at the top of the list is Karen Oliver. Karen and her small but mighty team (hi, Carol and Erin!) are three of the most genuine, hardworking, and detail-oriented publicists I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. The team has represented and grown some amazing brands, hosted stunning, memorable launch events, and is always there to help deliver exactly what we need in terms of products and quotes quickly.”
“KOA isn’t just another PR firm but a group of women who are passionate about the beauty and wellness industry, their brands (they tell amazing ingredient stories!) and clients, and their editor relations (I love that they are never pushy and always knowledgeable). They take every aspect of their jobs to the next level and are a true joy to do business with.”
Kahlana Barfield Brown, Fashion and Beauty Editor, Television Correspondent, Creative and Brand Consultant
"I met Karen over a decade ago when I was the Assistant Beauty Editor at InStyle. She called my office to pitch one of her clients and the next thing I know we’re on the phone for over an hour. While editors are often inundated with pitches, Karen’s passion, creativity, and execution stands out. She’s one of the most reliable publicists in the industry and her willingness to do whatever it takes for her clients puts her in a league of her own. One time I desperately needed a product sample for a story I was working on and time was running out. Karen knew my deadline and personally delivered the item I needed just in time for the shoot. Over the years she’s become family to me. In fact, she’s been part of my most special life events (wedding, baby shower, birthday parties, etc.). To know her is to love her, and I support anything that has her name on it."