Wilkinson Sword faces a blistering brand battle – and perhaps legal action – over its claims that the imminent four-blade razor Quattro will be the closest shave on the market.
Industry sources say that its claim that Quattro is “the closest shave ever” will be vigorously contested by market-leading rival Gillette.
A Gillette spokesman confirms that the company will consult its lawyers over any claims made by a rival razor. Gillette has already attempted to stop the Quattro launch in the US with a lawsuit claiming that Wilkinson Sword has infringed the patented technology used in its Mach 3 razor.
Marketing director for Wilkinson Sword Richard Nall says the company is expecting to be challenged on the claims. “We’ve spent a lot of time on our defensive legal strategy. Gillette will say we’re comparing the products, so we’ll need every piece of evidence to substantiate the claims.”
An industry insider says that Wilkinson Sword has consulted with the Advertising Standards Authority about what claims it can make. He adds: “Wilkinson Sword says there’s scientific evidence that it’s a 10 to 15 per cent closer shave. It will need to have all the supporting evidence to get past Gillette.”
European advertising for Quattro has been created by J Walter Thompson. The campaign will use the tagline “Get Ready” and the slogan “The Power of Four”.