Lever plans Persil relaunch

Lever Brothers is preparing for the long-awaited relaunch of the Persil brand in an effort to win back customers lost after the Persil Power fiasco of three years ago.

The company is launching the three Persil variants as separate sub-brands with striking packaging and slogans. It says the move is intended to “clarify and simplify” the brand.

Biological is to be renamed Persil Performance, and will be aimed at the family wash. Non-Biological is being rebranded Persil The Original Non-Biological and is tagged “effective cleaning for those concerned about their family’s skin”. Persil Colour becomes Persil Colour Care “for brilliant cleaning to help keep colours vibrant”.

It is understood the relaunch will be backed by a significant slice of the brand’s 20m advertising spend through agency J Walter Thompson. Lever refuses to give details of the advertising, but it is believed each sub-brand will have its own ads.

Persil was badly hit when it launched Persil Power in May 1994 and rival Procter & Gamble claimed its accelerated cleaning agent rotted clothes. The brand was subsequently axed, and Persil has been trying to recover lost ground ever since.

Lever’s consumer affairs director John Ballington says: “The feedback we’ve been getting from consumers shows that they appreciate what we’ve been doing to simplify the market.”

The company is also launching a new variant of Comfort fabric conditioner, called Comfort Vitality, aimed at young people.

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