Lever Fabergé is poised to axe its former flagship haircare range Organics in order to concentrate on its global power brands, such as Sunsilk and Dove.
Organics was one of Lever Fabergé’s largest haircare launches of the Nineties but has struggled to seize a leading share of the market. Lever Fabergé pulled all marketing support for the brand last year in an attempt to relaunch Organics as a budget brand (MW December 18, 2003). At the same time, the company almost halved the brand’s recommended retail price from &£2.19 to &£1.29.
Organics is not one of Unilever’s core brands under its “Path to Growth strategy”, which has seen the number of brands whittled down from 1,400 in an effort to achieve the target of 400. There have been question marks over the haircare brand since the launch of similarly positioned Sunsilk in 2002 (MW September 5, 2002). Organics’s &£6m-a-year ad account was held by J Walter Thompson until 2002, with campaigns notably featuring “faces” such as Twiggy and Melinda Messenger. In 2002 the account moved to Mother.
Lever Fabergé has already divested responsibility for brands such as Brut, Mentadent, Pond’s and Shield to broker Ceuta Healthcare (MW December 4, 2003). It is not known whether Organics will follow its former stablemates. A Unilever spokesman was not available for comment.
One industry source says that retailers have been asked to start clearing their shelves of Organics products in order to make space for core brands Sunsilk and Dove. She adds: “The company has told retailers that it does not have a future in the UK and recommended it be delisted.”