The official verdict & #BANNER1 & # is out. Unilever, after a strategic and creative review, has decided to consolidate its oral care business in Asia, Latin America and Africa with Lowe. As a result, Close-Up has moved from O&M to Lowe. Lowe will now handle both Hindustan Lever oral care brands, Pepsodent and Close-Up.
The media duties for Close-Up have gone to MindShare. Sources close to the development estimate the size of the business to be around Rs 15-18 crore.
Sanjiv Kakkar, vice-president, oral and hair care, HLL, says, "In India, Close-Up was being handled by O&M since early 2003. The association of O&M with Close Up significantly reshaped the advertising of the brand and revived its position in the marketplace. We truly value their contribution to the brand."
Sources reveal that the shift in agency will not change the strategy for the brand. The positioning of Close-Up is unlikely to change. When asked about how Lintas will handle two toothpaste brands, a senior executive at the agency says, "Pepsodent is more functional, while Close-Up is cosmetic. So, there won't be any conflict between the two brands."
For the record, HLL recently consolidated Lakme Hairnext and Hamam with Lowe. The former moved from Ambience Publicis because it was also handling conflicting business Marico.
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