In a bizarre twist, Unilever is to relaunch Pears with a promise of marketing support just months after the venerable soap brand was pulled from the market.
The brand will be relaunched with a range of liquid soap products, including hand washes, facial cleansers and shower gels. A green-coloured, anti-spot variant of the original soap bar will also be launched. This is the first time the soap has been extended from its original amber-coloured bar in the UK.
The launch has caused confusion in Unilever ranks as the Pears brand will not be run out of Lever Fabergé, its personal care division. It will be managed in the UK as an exported brand from the company’s Indian business, Hindustan Lever, and distributed by independent broker Certs Group.
The launch will see separate divisions of Unilever competing against each other, as Hindustan Lever’s Pears will be a rival to Lever Fabergé brands such as Dove and Lux. A Lever Fabergé spokesman knew nothing about the launch.
Hindustan Lever will manufacture and ship the brand to the UK, and profit will be channelled back to the Indian company. A Unilever source says Hindustan Lever is also expected to look for an ad agency to help create a marketing campaign.
“There will be some brand activation here, although the details have not been worked out. It will be managed by the export division of Hindustan Lever as Pears is a power brand in India,” says the source.