Lever Fabergé to ditch Persil Black Velvet

Lever Fabergé is to axe its “dark wash” detergent Persil Black Velvet in June as the brand is failing to hit sales targets.

Lever Fabergé is to axe its “dark wash” detergent Persil Black Velvet in June as the brand is failing to hit sales targets.

The withdrawal could surprise many in the industry at a time when Lever Fabergé and rival Procter & Gamble are battling for a point of difference in the fiercely contested detergents category.

An industry source says that Black Velvet, the only branded liquid detergent to prevent colour fading in dark clothes, is not performing as well as Lever Fabergé had expected, despite the lack of any direct big-brand competition.

“It is a surprise as sales for Black Velvet appear to be fairly stable. Own-brand versions have done quite well against Lever Fabergé’s line but it is pretty much on its own in the market,” says the insider.

The range is still available in Europe under the Coral Black Velvet brand name.Black Velvet has not benefited from any specific major advertising since it was launched at the end of 2001 with a budget of £2.5m (MW July 12, 2001).

The product targeted young, up-market consumers, and marked the first time that Lever Fabergé has targeted the gay and lesbian community, with ads appearing in the launch issue of Queercompany’s Fable.

Unilever admitted that sales had been slower than expected in the first three months of the year, but stuck to its full-year targets.

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

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

THE BEST CONTENT

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.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

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.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

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 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

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