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FEATURE: Where Now For Unilever? We Lay Out Our Thoughts And Suggested Response To The Humbling Kraft Heinz Bid

April 2, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The unexpected and deeply unwelcome Kraft Heinz takeover bid shook  Unilever* to its core. Analysts and commentators expected 3G to use Kraft Heinz as a vehicle for further acquisitions in the food space as it pushed to aggressively cut costs across larger businesses, but Unilever was thought to be above the fray.  In a tacit admission of past failure, Unilever convened a hurried review of ways to boost its valuation and in coming days or weeks we’ll see what this holds. Meanwhile, we have clarified our own thinking about how Unilever should move forward as a vibrant independent company that quickly surfaces its underlying value. You can read a summary of our analysis here and contact us if you want further details.
 
*Disclosure: Unilever is a client of ours, as are most of the companies we list as acquisition targets. Also, our newsletters are read by recipients at all companies mentioned in this piece.
 
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Coty, Parfumerie Akzente Present Respective Cases Before Court Of Justice Of European Union

March 30, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coty Germany and Parfumerie Akzente have made their oral arguments before the Court of Justice of the European Union regarding the beauty brand's lawsuit against the distributor for selling Coty products on the internet. Ongoing for several years now, the case highlights the lack of established rules regarding sales of products via third-party online stores in the EU. Previously, a district court in Frankfurt ruled that a ban on third-party online sales is illegal and restricts competition.
Jennifer Weil, "Coty Germany, Parfümerie Akzente Heard in the EU’s Court of Justice", Women’s Wear Daily, March 30, 2017, © Penske Media Corporation
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Unilever And Lazada Strengthen Alliance For Better Ecommerce In South East Asia

March 30, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
An end-to-end alliance between Unilever and Lazada is expected to boost eCommerce in South East Asia and provide consumers with a superior online experience. The agreement is expected to push rapid growth in online retail for the region and address challenges such as high cost of product delivery in certain geographic locations. Category development, supply chain, data and marketing, social commerce and talent development are among the top focus areas for Unilever and Lazada to meet their common goal. The alliance builds on the previously launched partnership between Lazada Singapore and Unilever for an exclusive online store that allows buyers to purchase Unilever products. The companies say this is the first cross-functional collaboration for eCommerce in South East Asia and that it sets new standards in customer experience, supply chain and digital marketing.  
"Unilever and Lazada forge first in e-commerce cross-functional alliance", Unilever, March 30, 2017, © Unilever
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Unilever Plans To Spend More On Digital Advertising In UK

March 29, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever UK is reportedly planning to increase its spending on digital advertising, after results of a study revealed the effectiveness of the marketing platform. Data from retailer Sainsbury's Nectar customer loyalty program revealed the platform returned £1.47, or $1.82, for every £1 spent. Also, offline and online sales increased during the six-week campaign.
Helen Leggatt, "Unilever to up digital spend following display ad trial", BizReport, March 29, 2017, © BizReport
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GSK Consumer Nigeria Plans To Focus On Consumer Healthcare Business

March 29, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria PLC said it plans to focus on its over-the-counter, oral healthcare, and pharmaceutical business in the country. According to the company, the move is part of efforts to improve margins and ensure sustainable growth in the country. Although sales dropped 21 percent in 2016 from 2015 levels, the company reported profit after tax for the year grew 335 percent to N4.2 billion, boosted by the divestment of its drinks business.
"GSK Consumer repositions, to focus on consumer healthcare portfolio", The Guardian, March 29, 2017, © Guardian Newspapers
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GlaxoSmithKline
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Kao Receives Highest Rating In Development Bank Of Japan's Employee Health Promotion Program

March 28, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Kao Corporation has received the highest rating from Development Bank of Japan Inc.'s DBJ Employees' Health Management Rated Loan Program. In 2012, when the program was first introduced, Kao won the highest rating for the first time. For its achievement, Kao secured financing with preferential conditions as mandated by the program.
"Kao qualifies for the highest rating in the “DBJ Employees’ Health Management Rated Loan Program” by Development Bank of Japan Inc. for the 2nd time", Kao Corporation, March 28, 2017, © Kao Corporation
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Kao
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L'Oreal Paris Launches You're Worth It Loyalty Program

March 28, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
L'Oreal Paris launched its You're Worth It customer loyalty program in March 2017. Loyalty programs, previously seen as limited to prestige beauty brands, now enable mass brands to promote repeat purchases, collect consumer data, and encourage sharing on social media. For example, E.L.F.'s site visits grew 34 percent, while visit duration increased 15 percent after launching its Beauty Squad loyalty program. L2's Data and Targeting in Beauty Loyalty report showed that as more brands implement loyalty programs, their engagement rates remain flat.
Homa Zaryouni, "L’Oreal Paris Becomes Latest Mass Brand to Launch a Loyalty Program", L2 Daily, March 28, 2017, © L2 Inc.
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Advertising Standards Bureau Dismisses Complaints Against Unilever Ads In Australia

March 27, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Australia's Advertising Standards Bureau has ruled against claims of improper advertising against Unilever's Lynx personal care brand and Magnum and Streets ice cream brands. ASB disagreed with a complainant who claimed that an ad for Bubble O Bill ice cream promotes “sexual entitlement of men” with its “I can see your white bits” line. Also, the board dismissed a complaint against a TV ad showing a man spraying Lynx across his torso.
Lindsay Bennett, "Unilever Ads Cleared of Inappropriate 'Sexualised' Advertising", Adnews Media, March 27, 2017, © Yaffa Media
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Unilever
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RB Expects Online Sales To Make Up 10 Percent Of India Sales By 2020

March 25, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Reckitt Benckiser predicts online sales will account for 10 percent of the company’s total sales in India by 2020. RB India, which has an exclusive business deal with online retailer Amazon, said online sales in the country has been growing 20–25 percent month on month. In 2016, the company saw its online sales grow more than double.
"Reckitt Benckiser Eyes 10% Sales from E-Commerce in India", ETRetail.com, March 25, 2017, © ETRetail.com
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Unilever Uruguay Launches Lifebuoy Campaign Featuring Petri Dishes With Live Bacteria

March 24, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever Uruguay's Lifebuoy soap brand launched a marketing campaign featuring poster-sized petri dishes containing live bacteria. Created by branding company The Electric Factory Group, the campaign aims to encourage people to wash their hands more frequently. Lifebuoy installed the petri dishes in shopping malls across the country.
"Petri dish full of live bacteria used to advertise soap", Springwise, March 24, 2017, © Springwise Intelligence Ltd
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Unilever
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Latin America
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The Body Shop Commits To Comply With UK's Modern Slavery Act

March 24, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Beauty retailer The Body Shop has issued a statement highlighting the company's commitment to comply with the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015. According to the company, it aims to prevent modern slavery across its businesses, as well as its supply chain. This also covers all organizations and companies that play a role in the production and manufacture of its products.
"The Body Shop Outlines Commitment to Modern Slavery Act", Edie.net, March 24, 2017, © Faversham House Ltd
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L'Oreal
Retailers & Private Label
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Largest Personal Care And Cosmetics Companies Find Beauty In Small Brands

March 24, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Small independent beauty brands are the top targets for acquisition by the market's largest companies, with 52 acquisition deals recorded in 2016. According to investment bank Financo LLC, the most popular targets are private brands with huge following on social media. Demand for acquisition targets has outpaced supply, according to TSG Consumer Partners LLC managing director Colin Welch. Unlike before, big cosmetics companies are going after brands with annual sales below $100 million, because social media and word-of-mouth advertising can drive sales.
Stephanie Hoi-Nga Wong, "The Latest Acquisition Targets Are Indie Beauty Brands", Bloomberg Businessweek, March 24, 2017, © BLOOMBERG L.P.
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L'Oreal
Other
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Jordan Marks 180 Years Of Providing Oral Care

March 24, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Oral care brand Jordan is celebrating its 180th anniversary in 2017. As part of its celebrations in Malaysia, Jordan brought gifts to 300 children at the Paediatric Institute of the General Hospital Kuala Lumpur and visited 40 primary schools in the Klang Valley, providing oral care and dental hygiene tips to 25,000 children. Also, the brand launched the “Finding Jordan Picasso” coloring contest.
Siti Syameen Mohd Khalili, "Oral Care Brand Jordan Marks 180th Anniversary by Making M'sian Kids Smile", New Straits Times, March 24, 2017, © New Straits Times
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L'Oreal Travel Retail Sees Strong Sales, Growth In 2016

March 24, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
L’Oreal Travel Retail enjoyed a strong year in terms of sales and revenue in 2016. According to the company’s annual report, L’Oreal’s travel retail business “strengthened its leadership in the distribution channel.” Makeup was the brand’s fastest-growing category in 2016, the company said.
Lucy Whitehouse, "L’Oreal’s Travel Unit Annual Results", CosmeticsDesign-Europe.com, March 24, 2017, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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L'Oreal
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Procter & Gamble Overseas India Agrees To Buy 3.35 Stake In P&G Hygiene

March 24, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Procter & Gamble Overseas India BV will buy 3.35 percent stake in P&G Hygiene and Healthcare from Rosemount LLC. Effective on April 1, 2017, the deal covers 10.88 lakh equity shares, at Rs 7,016 per share, or a total worth of Rs 763.43 crore.
"P&G Overseas to Acquire 3.35% Stake in P&G Hygiene", Outlook, March 24, 2017, © Outlook
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Procter & Gamble
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Procter & Gamble Receives Patent For Evaluating Anti-Aging Skin Benefit

March 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Procter & Gamble has received a patent for a screening method designed to identify an agent that provides an anti-aging skin benefit. Involving culturing of first and second human skin samples for around 3-19 days, the process includes a contact between the first human skin sample with at least one agent. Also, the second human skin sample has contact with a positive control.
"P&G Patents Screening Methods for Assessing Anti-Aging Skin Benefit", Happi.com, March 23, 2017, © Rodman Media
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Procter & Gamble
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Unilever Ghana Helps Celebrate 2017 World Oral Health Day

March 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever Ghana's managing director, Yeo Ziobeieton, took part in the Ghana Dental Association's celebration of the 2017 World Oral Health Day. Ziobeieton joined 2,000 schoolchildren in the live demonstration of proper toothbrushing technique. Unilever provided Pepsodent toothpaste and toothbrushes for the event held at the Trade Fair Centre in Accra.
"Unilever Managing Director Leads by Example", Ghana News Agency, March 23, 2017, © Ghana News Agency
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Pantene Launches All Strong Hair Is Beautiful Hair Campaign

March 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Procter & Gamble's haircare brand Pantene launched the “All Strong Hair Is Beautiful Hair” advertisement. Part of the brand's Strong Is Beautiful campaign, the ad celebrates African American hair, seeking to address the inequality in popular-culture representation of hair that is not “long, shiny, and smooth.” In this connection, the brand launched Pantene Gold Series, a collection of high-end products designed to strengthen hair and enable it to be styled the way consumers want.
"Pantene Celebrates Diversity with Powerful “All Strong Hair is Beautiful Hair” Campaign", Procter & Gamble, March 23, 2017, © Procter & Gamble
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Aussie Hair Chooses Olapic's Social Media Marketing Platform

March 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Procter & Gamble haircare brand Aussie Hair has selected Olapic’s Content in Motion platform for the brand’s social media campaigns. Aussie is currently using Content in Motion for the brand’s posts on Instagram and e-commerce consumer website, with results showing an increase of 33 percent in social media engagement. Also, Aussie is the first P&G brand in Europe to use Olapic’s platform.
"Aussie Hair Partners Visual Marketing Platform Olapic", NetImperative, March 23, 2017, © Netimperative
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L'Oreal Chooses Domo's Business Cloud For Its Digital And Online Presence

March 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
L’Oreal has chosen Domo’s Business Cloud for its digital marketing efforts for 32 brands and offices in more than 70 countries. Aimed at maximizing the effectiveness and reach of its digital properties and online campaigns, L’Oreal’s directive for Domo also covers its presence on social networks and online retailers. With the “digital cockpit” concept offered by Domo, L’Oreal executives can have access to automated reporting, stay on top of data feeds, and compare company performance with those of competitors.
"L'Oreal Selects Domo to Optimize Digital Performance Across 32 Brands in More than 70 Countries", Marketwired, March 23, 2017, © Nasdaq, Inc.
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Shiseido Deploys Humanoid Robots At Kakegawa Factory's Assembly Lines

March 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Shiseido Company, Limited, has started deploying industrial robots to the assembly lines of makeup products at its factory in Kakegawa, Japan. Currently on a pilot-program basis, the deployment of robots started in March 2017 and features teams involving a human worker and two humanoid robots each. According to the company, the humanoid robots will focus on procedures that are hard to automate with existing machines and industrial robots, while their human partner will take charge of inspecting minor defects and assuring quality.
"Shiseido Pilots the Deployment of Humanoid Robots on Its Assembly Lines, a Cosmetics Industry First", Shiseido Group, March 23, 2017, © Shiseido Company, Limited
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Procter & Gamble Donates $10,000 To ASU's Sustainability Project

March 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Procter & Gamble donated $10,000 to the Albany State University's Global Sustainability Project. Focusing on efforts worldwide to promote energy sustainability, the project highlights careers in mass communications that are related to global sustainability, such as environmental journalism. According to associate professor Jianchuan Zhou, the program also offers students the opportunity to study abroad and witness sustainability efforts in other countries.
Zachary Logan, "P&G Helps ASU Students Learn About Sustainability", WALB News, March 23, 2017, © WALB/ Raycom Media
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Target Will Start Selling Honest Beauty Products

March 22, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Target said it plans to start selling Honest Beauty personal care and beauty products at 800 of its stores across the U.S. and through its target.com online store. Manufactured by The Honest Company, Honest Beauty products are marketed as derived from safe and botanical ingredients and producing “effective results.” Honest Beauty products fit Target's “better for you” collection of safe and effective brands and will be available starting March 26, 2017.
Faye Brookman, "Target Adds Jessica Alba’s Honest Beauty to Its Expanding Assortment", Women’s Wear Daily, March 22, 2017, © Penske Media Corporation
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SC Johnson France Wins 2017 Best Workplace Award

March 22, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
SC Johnson said its SC Johnson France unit has been chosen as a 2017 Best Workplace in the country by the Great Place to Work Institute. According to the company, SC Johnson France was ranked 45th among the companies included on the list. Also, the company has earned 12 points on the Great Place to Work Institute’s annual Trust Index assessment.
"SC Johnson France Named a 2017 Best Workplace", SC Johnson, March 22, 2017, © S. C. Johnson & Son, Inc.
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Chanel Launches Instagram Campaign For Coco Mademoiselle Fragrance Brand

March 21, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
French beauty brand Chanel launched a marketing campaign on social media site Instagram for its Coco Mademoiselle brand of fragrances. As part of the campaign, Chanel's official Instagram account shared an image with three different ad photographs. Followers need to click on the tags to unveil the full images and see the different aspects of the brand.
Brielle Jaekel, "Chanel Plays Coy on Instagram with Interactive Photo Reveal", Luxury Daily, March 21, 2017, © Mobile Commerce Daily
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L'Oreal Paris Unveils Charities-Focused Customer Loyalty Program

March 21, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
L'Oreal Paris launched its Worth It Rewards customer loyalty program. Covering the company's four product categories, cosmetics, hair color, hair care, and skin care, the program offers rewards for customers for their purchases and provides them opportunities to do acts of philanthropy. Also, shoppers can donate rewards points to the charities preferred by the brand's Women of Worth awardees. Consumers can join the loyalty program by visiting the company's website.
"L'Oreal Paris Launches Its Largest Loyalty Rewards Program", PR Newswire, March 21, 2017, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Procter & Gamble Sues Ranir For Alleged Patent Infringement

March 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Procter & Gamble Co. filed a federal lawsuit claiming that Ranir has infringed on its patented tooth-whitening strips technology. According to P&G, Ranir manufactures its own version of the company's tooth-whitening products and sell them through Walmart, Kroger, and maybe other retailers. P&G's lawsuit focuses on Ranir products packaged for sale under many store brands, such as Kroger's private label and the Equate private-label brand in Walmart stores.
Barrett J. Brunsman , "P&G sues competitor for ‘flagrant act of piracy’", Cincinnati Business Courier, March 20, 2017, © American City Business Journals
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Unilever's Indonesia Unit Posts Strong Net Growth In 2016

March 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
PT Unilever Indonesia reported net profit rose 9.2 percent to Rp 6.39 trillion, or $479.7 million, in 2016, compared with the previous year. Net sales jumped almost 10 percent to Rp 40.05 trillion from the previous year's Rp 36.48 trillion. Cost of goods sold increased almost 10 percent year on year to Rp 19.59 trillion.
Prima Wirayani, "Amid Weak People's Purchasing Power, Unilever Reaped Rp 6.39t Profit Last Year", Jakarta Post, March 20, 2017, © PT. Niskala Media Tenggara
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Unilever Works With Kenya Dental Association To Launch Campaign Promoting Oral Care For Children

March 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever joined forces with the Kenya Dental Association to launch a public education campaign promoting oral hygiene in the country. Aimed at school children, the program seeks to help deal with oral care problems affecting the country's children. Data from the Kenya National Oral Health Survey of 2015 revealed 70.2 percent of children do not have regular dental checkups.
Cynthia Nyabola, "Unilever Targets Youth in New Oral Hygiene Drive", Citizen Digital, March 20, 2017, © Citizen Digital
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Avon SVP General Counsel Benjamin Retires

March 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Avon Products, Inc., said Jeff Benjamin, Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer, is retiring from the company. Benjamin joined Avon in 2012, following a 40-year career, 37 of which were spent at Novartis. He will remain with the company until his successor is named.
"Jeff Benjamin to retire as Avon's General Counsel", PR Newswire, March 20, 2017, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Signal Toothpaste Launch Initiatives To Change People's Brushing Behavior

March 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
In celebration of the World Oral Health Day on March 20, 2017, Signal launched a new initiative to make people to brush their teeth day and night. Doing this night and day with fluoride toothpaste would cut the incidence of cavities by 90%, a goal Signal sees as its mission. Departing from the usual mass events, Signal has taken a more personal approach to reach kids and parents using Facebook Messenger. The campaign, Little Brush Big Brush, is designed to help the company connect with individual families in a close, personal way and trigger behavior change. As poor oral health continue to affect almost all adults and up to 90% of children worldwide, Signal is focusing on using digital technology to make connections with consumers and make them start the journey to better oral health care.  Child and adult vloggers and influencers have been invited to join the campaign. This initiative runs alongside the long-running campaigns of Signal in schools which have reached 75 million children and its partnership with the World Dental Health association. [Image credit © Unilever]
"How Brushing Day and Night Can Improve Your Life", Unilever, March 20, 2017, © Unilever
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Unilever Australia And New Zealand CMO Leaves Company

March 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever's chief marketing officer, John Broome, is leaving the company. Broome's resignation follows Unilever's move to eliminate the CMO role in its local business units. Previously CMO of Kellogg, Broome has been Unilever's marketing chief for the past 13 months.
Rosie Baker, "Unilever Axes CMO Role, John Broome Exits", AdNews, March 20, 2017, © Yaffa Media
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Unilever
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Unilever Plans Sale Of Brands To Appease Angry Shareholders

March 19, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever said it plans to sell a number of brands worth a total of at least ₤6 billion. Part of the company's efforts to placate shareholders frustrated with the company's rejection of Kraft Heinz's $143-billion takeover bid, the proposed sale will be followed by a range of cost-cutting and restructuring measures. While company CEO Paul Polman does not want to split the company into its food and personal care businesses, he is seen willing to get rid of under-performing brands.
Peter Evans and Daniel Dunkley, "Unilever lines up £6bn sale of Flora and Stork", The Sunday Times, March 19, 2017, © Times Newspapers Limited
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Unilever
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Unilever Singapore, Mediacorp OOH Media Join Forces To Create Interactive Marketing Display For New Dove Body Wash

March 17, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever Singapore partnered with Mediacorp OOH Media to put up an interactive marketing display at the entrance of the Orchard Gateway shopping location. Aimed at promoting the launch of the company’s new Dove Oxygen Moisture Body Wash, the “extivation” display combined an “outdoor mini experiential zone” with the media agency’s OOH Media outdoor digital display. Also, the display included a shower and portable sinks, as well as a digital counter that monitored the number of consumers who tried and liked the product.
"Mediacorp OOH Media and Dove Collaborate to Create Full Sensory Experience", Marketing Interactive, March 17, 2017, © Marketing Interactive
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Unilever
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Honest Company Names Clorox COO Vlahos CEO

March 17, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Consumer products maker Honest Company appointed Clorox chief operating officer Nick Vlahos as CEO. Also named to Honest's board of directors, Vlahos replaces Brian Lee, who co-founded the company with actress Jessica Alba. Lee will stay on as member of the board and will serve as an advisor.
John Kell, "Honest Co. Replaces CEO with Clorox Veteran", Fortune, March 17, 2017, © Time Inc.
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Unilever Shareholders Wanted Talks With Kraft Heinz, Survey Reveals

March 16, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever should have negotiated with Kraft Heinz instead of abruptly rejecting its $143 billion takeover bid, according to 53 percent of Unilever shareholders surveyed by stock brokerage firm Bernstein. Among shareholders who favored negotiations, the majority wanted a 40-percent premium to Unilever's share price, instead of the 18 percent offered by Kraft Heinz. Kraft Heinz promptly withdrew its offer following its rejection by Unilever.
Scheherazade Daneshkhu, "Unilever investors favoured talks with Kraft Heinz", The Financial Times, March 16, 2017, © The Financial Times Limited
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Unilever
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Netherlands

Ulta Beauty Offers Growth Opportunities For Personal Care And Beauty Brands

March 16, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Beauty retailer Ulta Beauty is expanding, with sales and profits growing despite the slowdown in the overall brick-and-mortar retail market. In the last quarter of 2016, the company saw its profits grow 16.6 percent compared with the same period in the previous year, and double-digit same-store sales growth for eight consecutive years. Personal and beauty care brands can benefit from investing in the retailer, especially its omnichannel platform. Also, brands should collaborate with Ulta's editorial and social media operations.
Homa Zaryouni, "Why Brands Should Invest in Ulta", L2 Daily, March 16, 2017, © L2 Inc.
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Retailers & Private Label
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Unilever Eyes Bigger Budget For Digital Shopper Marketing

March 16, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever said it plans to allocate more of the company's shopper marketing budget to digital display, after seeing the results of a research project implemented in partnership with Aimia, Sainsbury's, Nielsen, i2c, and the IAB. Focused on digital display advertising for five of Unilever's brands, including Persil, Magnum, and Maille, the study revealed an average ROI of ₤1.47 for every ₤1 spent. Although further rounds of the project are expected to be conducted, results of the first round are already prompting the company to change its shopper marketing strategy in 2017, Unilever Homecare shopper marketing manager Stuart Jeffrey said.
Sarah Vizard , "Unilever to increase spend on digital shopper marketing after proving display ROI", Marketing Week, March 16, 2017, © Centaur Communications Ltd (a member of the Centaur Media plc group)
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Unilever
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Unilever Continues Review Of Operations To Find Ways To Boost Shareholder Returns

March 14, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Responding to what CEO Paul Polman called the “near-death” experience of Kraft Heinz’s recent failed takeover bid, Unilever is thoroughly reviewing operations to see where it can boost shareholder returns. The company is requiring division heads in all of its businesses – from ice cream to shampoo and deodorants – to to conduct the reviews. It is unlikely the company will untangle its food, home, and personal care businesses, but it could make medium-sized acquisitions  One area of concern is actually a strength: its low debt balance. The small amount of debt gave Kraft Heinz a strategy for financing the acquisition. Unilever could cut costs more deeply in low-growth businesses to boost profit. And it may sell its Flora margarine unit to Kraft Heinz. [ Image credit: © DFID - UK Department for International Development  ]
Scheherazade Daneshkhu, "Pressure is on Unilever to meet investor expectations", The Financial Times, March 14, 2017, © The Financial Times Limited
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Unilever
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Maison Lancome Enlists Fashion Designer Le-Tan To Launch Limited Edition Make-Up Collection

March 13, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Maison Lancome said it has partnered with fashion designer Olympia Le-Tan to launch a limited edition line of make-up products. Marking the brand's latest partnership with a fashion designer, the limited edition range will highlight Le-Tan's vision for women. Described as retro but not nostalgic, Le-Tan's fashion design highlights a “free, sexy, and original femininity,” the company said.
"Olympia Le-Tan is Maison Lancôme's Guest of Honor", PR Newswire, March 13, 2017, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Soccer Star Griezman Is Named Latest Head & Shoulders Ambassador

March 9, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Shampoo brand Head & Shoulders announced during the Paris Fashion Week that their newest ambassador is Atlético Madrid and France striker Antoine Griezmann. The brand has a track record of working with soccer talent in its promotions.  Griezman will help launch the new Head & Shoulders Men Ultra series, featuring six new variants with high performance boosting ‘Zinc Technology.’ Griezmann joins other soccer superstars Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich & Germany), Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus & Italy) and Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich & Poland) as it continues to reach out to male consumers. [Image credit © Head & Shoulders, P&G]
"Head & Shoulders Names Antoine Griezmann as Newest Ambassador", Fashion Insider, March 09, 2017, © Fashion Insider
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MAC Cosmetics Says To Sell Products Via Ulta Beauty Stores

March 9, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Beauty brand MAC Cosmetics plans to sell its products through retailer Ulta Beauty. Part of the brand’s efforts to revive slowing sales, MAC Cosmetics products will first be sold via the retailer’s online store starting in May 2017 then through 25 Ulta Beauty branches in June 2017. By the end of 2017, MAC Cosmetics products will be available in more than 100 Ulta stores, MAC global brand president Karen Buglisi Weiler said.
Pete Born, "MAC Cosmetics to Enter Ulta Beauty in Bid for New Audience", Women’s Wear Daily, March 09, 2017, © Penske Media Corporation
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Henkel Says Acquisition Strengthens Position In Hair Professional Business

March 9, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Furthering its strategy of strengthening its presence in “attractive markets and categories,” especially its core hair professional business, Henkel announced it is acquiring Mexican hair care company Nattura Laboratorios, S.A. de C.V. Headquartered in Guadalajara, the company is associated with companies in the U.S., Colombia and Spain. The transaction includes a portfolio of leading brands including Pravana and Tec Italy. Henkel said the acquisition will complete its hair professional colorants category and reinforce its No. 3 position in the sector business. It will also provide a platform for further growth in the Latin American market. Nattura Laboratorios generated sales of more than $107 million in fiscal 2016. [ Image credit: © Nattura Labs ]
"Henkel to acquire Hair Professional business in Mexico and the USA", News release, Henkel, March 09, 2017, © Henkel AG & Co. KGaA
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Taiwan Shiseido Celebrates 60th Anniversary In 2017

March 8, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Shiseido Company, Limited, is celebrating 60 years of selling its personal care and beauty products in Taiwan in 2017. Established by the Japanese beauty brand as the first step to transforming itself into a global company, Taiwan Shiseido Co., Ltd., has become one of the company's most important business locations. First established as a locally capitalized distributor in 1957, Taiwan Shiseido became a joint venture with Shiseido Company in 1983.
"Shiseido Celebrates 60th Anniversary of Sales Launch in Taiwan", Shiseido Group, March 08, 2017, © Shiseido Company, Limited
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Vi-Jon Launches New Line Of Men's Dandruff Shampoos With Masculine Packaging Design

March 6, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Vi-Jon launched Victory, a line of anti-dandruff shampoos for men, in March 2016. Aimed at millennial male consumers, the shampoos come in rectangular bottles featuring a masculine design. Developed by Blue Cover Studios, the extrusion blow-molded high-density polyethylene bottles present a “strong brand message and visual identity” that make the product stand apart from those offered by rival brands.
Natalie Craig, "Masculine Dandruff Shampoo Bottle Targets Millennial Men", Packaging World, March 06, 2017, © PMMI Media Group
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Key Execs At Hain Celestial Given New Strategic Responsibilities

March 6, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Organic and natural products company Hain Celestial has moved several key executives into new positions that report directly to CEO Irwin D. Simon. Hain Celestial North America CEO John Carroll is the new EVP-Global Brands and New Business Ventures. He will oversee global branding, new ventures, M&A, and the Project Terra cost savings and divestiture program. Gary W. Tickle has been named CEO of Hain Celestial North America.  And Beena Goldenberg, CEO of the company’s Canadian unit, will head up the Cultivate Ventures platform dedicated to investing in lifestyle brands, smaller portfolio brands and concepts, and incubator opportunities. [ Image credit: © Hain Celestial ]
"Hain Celestial Announces Executive Appointments", News release, Hain Celestial, March 06, 2017, © Hain Celestial
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AXE Hair Enlists 30 Male Influencers to Encourage Men To Style Every Day

March 2, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
According to AXE, men are more interested than ever in hair but 65 percent never style or do so only on special occasions. While men say they feel more confident when they do style, men perceive styling as too complicated and don’t want to be judged for “trying too hard.”  Seeing an opportunity, the brand enlisted 30 top male influencers from a range of fields – sports, music, epicurean, gaming, technology, and comedy – to talk about why and how they style.  The contributors also emphasize why styling is important to their success. The ‘Instagroom’ videos will support a digital content hub featuring product recommendations, styling tips, video content and personalized styling.  [Image credit © Unilever]
"AXE® Hair Enlists 30 Top Influencers to Get Guys Styling Every Day", PRNewswire , March 02, 2017, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Consumer Goods Forum Draws Closer To Meeting Goals In Latest Health And Wellness Report

March 1, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), a global network of business stakeholders from 70 countries with a mission to help accomplish health and wellness-related Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations by implementing Health and Wellness Resolutions, released its the fourth edition of its Annual Health and Wellness Progress Report. CGF noted progress in the Commitments signed by its members: the first commitment is for greater transparency in nutritional policies and product formulation and the second commitment is to implement better employee health and wellness programs. Of the companies that participated in the CGF survey over the last two years, 38% has met the first commitment and 66% achieved the second the commitment. The CGF notes that larger companies worldwide are demonstrating leadership in meeting their health and wellness goals and are inspiring other members to move forward. The report provides comprehensive information on the progress of health and wellness programs across the world. It reveals that some 2.3 billion people and 30,000 communities have been reached by H&W programs, with 1.3 million employees, 1.4 million H&W professionals and 386,000 schools participating in its implementation. Interestingly, some 180,000 products have been redesigned to align with the H&W resolutions of member companies. [Image credit © The Consumer Goods Forum]
"Health & Wellness Progress Report", The Consumer Goods Forum, March 01, 2017, © Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited
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Future Group Eyes Expansion Into Personal Care

February 28, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Future Group CEO Kishore Biyani said the Indian retailer will focus next on the personal care market, following its signing of a joint venture deal with organic products company Hain Celestial. To better focus on its core fashion and food businesses, and to ensure the success of the Hain venture, the company plans to sell its home furnishings unit HomeTown and close sportswear retail unit Planet Sports. [ Image credit: © Future Group ]
Priya Sheth, "Future Group will Target Personal Care Next: Kishore Biyani", Money Control, February 28, 2017, © e-Eighteen.com Ltd.
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Olay Releases New Version Of Skincare App To Help Consumers Navigate Options

February 28, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Procter & Gamble’s Olay is rolling out a new version of its mobile app that features expanded artificial intelligence capability. The previous Olay Skin Advisor app relied on a selfie, “smart skin analysis” and personalized product recommendations. The latest release uses “pixel-tagging capabilities” that compares the selfie with a databank of hundreds of thousands of photographs of women to help women diagnose their “most troublesome skin problems.” Olay were motivated by research that showed up to 33 percent of women are “overwhelmed” by the choice of available products. Since the app was launched last year it has had 1 million “visits.” Other brands, such as Benefit, with its Brow Genie, and Cover Girl, are using AI in their apps to engage consumers digitally, while others push into physical stores – Make Up For Ever, for example, opened in February a global flagship store in New York that offers Go Pro Makeup small tutorials led by professionals, covering makeup application techniques.  [Image credit © P&G]
Sarah Mahoney, "As Beauty Gets More Digital, Olay Expands AI", MediaPost, February 28, 2017, © MediaPost
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