Boots snaps up Clearasil

Boots has bought Procter and Gamble’s (P&G) 50-year-old Clearasil brand, in a &£233m cash deal which opens up the US market to the beauty and healthcare retailer for the first time.

Clearasil accounted for only two per cent of P&G’s total turnover in its health and personal care products sector. The acquisition also provides a base for expansion in the Japanese market, where Boots the Chemist opened four retail stores last year, and where Clearasil is already on sale. The retailer has no retail sites in the US, but is looking at opening stores and establishing a stronger presence in the market through brand acquisitions.

A Boots Company spokesman says: “We are interested in making more brand acquisitions.” He indicated that these will be brands that have originally been developed in the Japanese and US markets and would be in the skincare and cough, cold and pain relief product areas.

Separate marketing teams to handle the brand in both Japan and the US are expected to be announced soon. Boots is also planning a range of Clearasil brand extensions in the UK and US. In the UK, Clearasil will form part of Crookes Healthcare, a subsidiary of Boots Healthcare International which already handles skincare brand E45.

Grey Advertising currently looks after the &£3m Clearasil account in the UK. It is expected that the agency will lose the account to McCann-Erickson London, whose portfolio includes Strepsils, Optrex and Nurofen brands within Crookes.

Clearasil’s media buying in the UK will be handled by MindShare, following the announcement that Boots is to use the agency in this market.

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