P&G to pull plug on Secret brand and quit UK deodorant market

Procter & Gamble (P&G) will quit the UK women’s anti-perspirant market when it scraps its women’s brand Secret next year.

Procter & Gamble (P&G) will quit the UK women’s anti-perspirant market when it scraps its women’s brand Secret next year.

Secret, which was P&G’s first serious attempt to muscle in on the Western Europe deodorant market when it launched in 1999, was supported by an estimated &£12.5m advertising campaign in the UK, created by Leo Burnett.

Secret will be phased out in Western Europe, including the UK, by summer 2002. The brand will continue to exist in Central and Eastern European markets and the US, where P&G claims it is a top-selling brand.

A P&G spokeswoman says: “Secret is being discontinued because the business it generated has not been as successful as was hoped. But it is very popular in most markets except Western Europe.”

Last year P&G announced a $55m (&£39m) marketing and advertising budget for Secret in the US, in an effort to maintain the brand’s dominance in that market.

The launch of Secret in the UK prompted a boost in Unilever’s ad spend for its Dove and Sure brands. The rival company is understood to have announced an increase of &£15m in ad spend in 1999. The investment was primarily directed at supporting its anti-perspirant brands.

P&G recently announced the end of its Olay cosmetics line and has halted plans to introduce its dry-cleaning product, Dryel, in the UK and continental Europe (MW June 21).

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here