Procter & Gamble (P&G) and Unilever are once again at odds over haircare, following the use of almost identical straplines in television campaigns for the Pantene (P&G) and Dove (Unilever) brands.
Unilever uses the strapline “Secret to beautiful hair” in Dove TV ads, while P&G uses “What’s the secret of beautiful hair?” in a teaser campaign for its Pantene range. Insiders claim that P&G is demanding Unilever either pull its Dove ads or change the strapline.
According to an advertising agency insider, the rivals are in negotiations and are “talking among themselves as to how best to resolve the situation”.
One household goods buyer says: “P&G has threatened to take Unilever to court if the ad is not pulled off air.”
The spat follows last year’s legal wrangle between the two packaged goods giants over P&G’s alleged spying on Unilever’s US haircare operations (MW September 13, 2001).
Neither Unilever nor P&G were willing to comment as Marketing Week went to press.