Germany is one of Procter & Gamble's biggest global territories after the US, but one of the few developed markets where the group does not hold the #1 position in fabric care. Instead it sits behind local leader Henkel, also a key rival in haircare. In addition to its main international products, P&G still markets a few well-known local jewels in Germany. Perhaps the most significant of these is Blend-a-med toothpaste, first introduced by Blendax in 1951 and later acquired by P&G. The Blend-a-med name was retained in German-speaking markets, but this is in most other respects now Crest or Oral-B, with a similar range of product variants. In other local differences, Olay is still marketed here as Olaz, Vicks as Wick and Mr Clean as Meister Proper. Shaver brand Braun is also of course a homegrown champion, acquired as part of Gillette in 2005, and marketed globally. The biggest change to P&G Germany in recent years was the acquisition in 2003 of haircare company Wella and its fragrance division Cosmopolitan Cosmetics. However, 15 years later, the Wella deal was more or less entirely unpicked with the sale of those acquired brands to Coty. Braun too may not ultimately survive P&G's down-sizing strategy. Several other German brands have also been bought and sold over the years or merged into P&G's international brands. In 2018, the group agreed to buy the consumer healthcare division of Merck Group, with brands including Femibion, Nasivin and Seven Seas. Franz-Olaf Kallerhoff is CEO of P&G Germany, as well as Austria and Switzerland. P&G established an office in Germany for the first time in 1960. Previously the group had maintained a wary non-competitive truce with local giant Henkel, and in the 1930s the two companies had actually cooperated in the development of synthetic detergents. As the West German economy boomed in the 1950s, the temptation was eventually too much for P&G to resist. It terminated its pact with Henkel and appointed local company Rei-Werke as its direct sales agent. Fairy dish detergent was launch in 1962. Three years later P&G took full control of Rei-Werke.
Capsule checked 7th May 2019
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