Unilever is gearing up for the multimillion pound launch of a new haircare range called ThermaSilk, in a major assault on Procter & Gamble’s number one brand, Pantene.
Advertising for the worldwide launch will be handled by J Walter Thompson, which will unveil ads for ThermaSilk in the US through its New York offices next March, backed by an $82m (51.25m) spend.
The brand will appear on the shelves in the US in February, and sources expect it to roll out in other markets, including the UK. A Unilever spokesman denies there are any plans for a UK launch, but industry sources say it is likely to be introduced to the UK.
Chris Jones, worldwide chief executive officer of J Walter Thompson, says: “This brand is exciting because it has great potential for long-term growth.”
ThermaSilk is specifically designed for hair that has been blow-dried or heated with curling tongs or rollers, and its range of products includes shampoos, conditioners and styling aids.
Unilever faces an uphill challenge in taking on market leader Pantene, which launched in 1993.
Unilever’s subsidiary Elida Fabergé already markets Salon Selectives and Organics haircare ranges in the UK.