Beauty & Personal Care is now the biggest business within Unilever. It is the world leader in personal wash and deodorants, and among the leaders in haircare. The portfolio is led by six key global brand families: Dove, Sunsilk, Axe, Rexona, Lux and Pond's. Men's grooming brand Axe is marketed in some countries as Lynx; deodorant Rexona is sold as Sure in the UK, as Degree in North America and as Shield in South Africa. Regional jewels include Tresemmé haircare in North America and the UK, Fair & Lovely cosmetics in India and the Smile toothpaste umbrella (Signal, Pepsodent and others) in emerging markets. These are supplemented by a vast collection of other brands that is getting bigger all the time as a result of acquisitions both large and small. Existing cornerstones to the portfolio include Lifebuoy soap, Vaseline skincare and Clear haircare; a huge number of other brands have joined the portfolio since the late 2000s. Major acquisitions have included the body wash and grooming division of Sara Lee, Alberto Culver and Toni & Guy haircare, British cleansing range Simple, Russian beauty giant Kalina, US mail order razor business Dollar Shave Club and South Korean skincare range AHC. The group has also added numerous smaller brands, especially in the premium and prestige skincare sector, including Schmidt's Naturals, Shea Moisture, Living Proof, Kate Somerville, REN and many others. New additions in 2019 included French derma-cosmetic brand Garancia and California-based but Japanese-influenced Tatcha skincare. Skin and body care is the group's main focus these days, but Unilever still maintains a foothold in the oral care care sector. Until 2000 it was the global #2, but has steadily withdrawn from this sector in several major markets (including the US and UK). It remains the global #4 in toothpaste with brands including Signal, Close-Up, Pepsodent and others. In early 2021, a collection of lesser brands including Q-Tips, Caress, TIGI, Timotei, Impulse and Monsavon were hived off into separate unit Elida Beauty with a view to their sale. However, no ready buyers were found and the plan was shelved at the end of the year. Alan Jope, formerly divisional president of Unilever Beauty & Personal Care, was promoted to group CEO in 2018. His successor at personal care was eventually named as Sunny Jain. Combined revenues from personal care & beauty were €21.9bn in 2021 with operating profit of almost €4.5bn, representing around 42% of Unilever group revenues and 51% of profits. In 2022, the beauty and personal care businesses separated into two separate units. Jain departed and his duties split between Fernando Fernandez as president of Beauty & Wellbeing, and Fabian Garcia, president of Personal Care. See also Unilever Home Care.
Capsule checked 3rd December 2021
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Historical profile information for Unilever HPC
Adbrands Update 15th Jun 2021: Unilever's high-end beauty acquisition spree continued with a deal to add Paula's Choice skincare. No terms were disclosed but several media outlets including WWD reported a figure of $2bn. Founded by Paula Begoun in 1995, and based in Seattle, Washington, the brand is sold worldwide mainly through direct-to-consumer channels, though it is also stocked in select prestige retailers in North America, Europe and Asia.
Adbrands Daily Update 5th Nov 2020: "Don't Let Oily Skin Get In The Way". We've remarked before on the unusually blunt (and occasionally gross) nature of Thai advertising, but actually that's a trait that's common across much of South East Asia. There are things they happily accept in advertising there that we more finicky Westerners might blanch at. Here's a fine example in a very funny and startlingly bold spot for Unilever's Pond's skincare brand: a meet-cute film which suddenly twists in an entirely unexpected direction. Just to complicate matters, though it's made for the SE Asia market, primarily Indonesia, it was actually developed in Spain by the Madrid outpost of WPP's David creative hothouse. But don't expect to see a European or US version any time too soon. This might be a gag too far for us sensitive Western males.
Adbrands Social Media 9th Jul 2019: "See What Happens". Unilever's new CEO Alan Jope recently stressed the need for all the group's brands to stand for something, so we can expect to see a further widening of the sort of message-based marketing first pioneered by Dove. That empowerment stance has already spread to Unilever's heritage skincare brand Pond's in its core markets of Asia. Here's a fine - if typically sentimental - campaign from Ogilvy's India and Singapore offices, encouraging girls to stand up for themselves, speak out and "see what happens". The film is rolling out all across Unilever's main markets in South East Asia.
Adbrands Daily Update 11th Jun 2019: Unilever made another addition to its premium skincare portfolio with a deal to acquire Asian-influenced Tatcha. Price tag was reported to be in the region of $500m. Headquartered in San Francisco, the brand is sold primarily through online channels.
Adbrands Daily Update 26th Mar 2019: Unilever named Sunny Jain as the new president of its beauty & personal care division, replacing Alan Jope, now group CEO. Jain joins the group from Amazon where he has headed the "core consumables" business, responsible for private label personal care and food products. Before that he spent more than a decade at Procter & Gamble. He will join Unilever in June 2019. Also this week, Unilever announced plans to expand its prestige beauty portfolio with the acquisition of French derma-cosmetic company Garancia. The firm makes a range of face and body skincare products, of which the best known is Pschitt Magique. No terms were disclosed.
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