Persil share recovers from Power disaster

Battle-scarred laundry detergent brand Persil has increased its market share for the first time in more than a year after it ditched clothes-digesting Persil Power and replaced it with New Generation Persil.

According to Nielsen Scan track, Lever Brother’s Persil brand has increased its overall share (by volume) of the laundry detergents market from 20.6 per cent in

April, to 22.2 per cent to June 3.

Persil’s main rival, Procter & Gamble’s Ariel, which overtook Persil as market leader last year, fell from 29.6 per cent to 25.9 per cent, despite the heavyweight launch of Ariel Future in January.

Lever claims that a Millward Brown’s attitude survey shows that consumers’ image of the brand has improved since the Persil Power disaster. According to the survey, the one-time market leader had a 30 per cent improvement in the number of consumers who agreed Persil cleaned and “cared for” their washing.

“It is a clear sign that the New Generation Persil drive is working,” a spokeswoman says.

She adds that the themed advertising, featuring mothers and children to help reinforce the caring image of the brand, has successfully re-established the brand’s traditional values, lost during the Persil Power fiasco.

“The advertising is rebuilding trust in the brand; our next move is to induce trial,” she says.

Persil will run a sales promotion this weekend, coinciding with Wimbledon fortnight, to encourage trial.

The promotion includes a fundraising scheme to boost children’s tennis. A TV campaign will break on July 1, with an A Question of Sport-themed ad featuring Virginia Wade, through J Walter Thompson.

A special offer will be included on direct response advertising in the national press and on leaflets with vouchers in retailers. Lever Brothers will also donate 20p of every purchase to the Lawn Tennis Association to develop youth tennis.

Lever marketing director Tim Hammond says: “The link between the ‘New Generation’ of Persil products and the next generation of tennis players is right in Persil’s heartland of care for the whole family.”

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