Far be it from the Diary to question P&G supremo Alan Lafley’s judgement, but does he really know what he’s getting himself into mixing it with Unilever?
Lafley no doubt believes that when his company contests Unilever’s claims about Persil Aloe Vera or Pantene, when it spies on Unilever’s haircare operations, or even when it launches a product to rival one of its arch-enemy’s lines, he is operating in the dog-eat-dog world of respectable international business.
The Diary suspects otherwise. Take a look at the picture above left of Unilever “boss” Niall FitzGerald. Now take a look at the picture across of Silvio Dante, one of Tony Soprano’s most trusted Mafia lieutenants, from the US drama The Sopranos. See the “family” resemblance?
The Diary suggests Lafley treads with caution. After all, even Ariel might struggle with shifting horse blood from the bed-linen.