Lever FabergÃ© is understood to be looking at axing its former flagship personal care range Physio Sport in order to concentrate on core brands such as Impulse, Lynx and Sure under its brand-trimming “Path to Growth” strategy.
Industry sources say the move has been sparked by falling sales of the six-year-old brand, which has now been delisted from several major supermarket chains.A decision to axe Physio Sport would end Lever FabergÃ©’s multi-million pound agreement with the International Olympic Association, which awarded the brand the right to use the Olympic rings on packaging when it launched in 1998.
But the packaged goods giant failed to exploit the UK brand’s association with the Olympics this year despite the games being held in Athens. Industry sources add that the company has withdrawn all support for the brand and it plans to phase out the range from remaining retailers.
Physio Sport’s £5m advertising account was held by Ogilvy & Mather, although the brand has not been supported by television advertising for more than two years. The last O&M campaign used “miniature” sporting stars such as Tony Adams, Prince Naseem Hamed and Paolo Di Canio.
The unisex brand consists of three variants – Pure Energy, Fresh Blast and Vital Instinct – and is available as a deodorant bodyspray, shower gel, anti-perspirant aerosol and roll-on.
The range is not thought to be one of Unilever’s core 400 brands under its “Path to Growth” strategy. The company has already made plans to delist a number of other former major brands, including Organics (MW July 8).
A Lever FabergÃ© spokeswoman says: “As far as we are concerned it is still in many retailers, and doing good sales.”
Lever FabergÃ© has asked us to point out that it continues to support its Physio Sport brand (MW October 14) and that the brand is currently available in all major retailers. (Marketing Week, October 28)