Unilever is switching Lever Brothers’ soap brands to Elida Fabergé as part of a wide restructure begun by chairman Niall Fitzgerald.
Lever brands Dove, Lux, Shield, Knight’s Castile and Lifebuoy will be integrated into Elida Fabergé by January 1 1997.
Elida Fabergé now has responsibility for marketing the majority of Unilever’s personal care brands including the toothpastes, haircare products and fragrances. A spokeswoman for Lever Brothers says there will be no job losses at Lever Brothers as a result of the move.
She says that the advertising arrangements will not be affected. The brand’s agencies include J Walter Thompson, Mustoe Merriman Herring Levy and Ogilvy & Mather. JWT already handles some Elida Fabergé brands.
She adds the home products and the personal care products businesses, Lever Brothers and Elida Fabergé, will remain as separate entities. However, it is understood that Unilever’s long-term aim is to merge the two companies across Europe.
Industry sources say the changes are being implemented to cut costs to bring Unilever in line with rival Procter & Gamble, which has higher operating margins.