Colgate-Palmolive advertising & marketing assignments

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Selected Colgate-Palmolive advertising

Personal care giant Colgate-Palmolive is generally associated with toothpaste and soap, but in fact its diversified portfolio also includes petfood, deodorants, fabric softeners, household cleaners and detergents. Yet oral care products are Colgate's biggest segment by far, contributing sales of around $7.2bn in 2020. The group is the worldwide market leader in this segment with around 40% share of the global toothpaste market, more than its three largest competitors combined. Colgate (together with sister brands including GABA, Meridol, Elmex, Sorriso, Kolynos, Dentagard and Tom's of Maine) is the #1 toothpaste brand in more than 170 countries, and also the clear leader in manual toothbrushes. In some countries, its share is even more dominant, as high as 72% in Brazil and over 80% in Mexico. Palmolive soap is the third largest soap brand, now covering a growing range of haircare products as well as soaps. Sister brands include Softsoap, Irish Spring and Sanex, and these are partnered by deodorants including Speed Stick, Mennen and Cashmere Bouquet. The group acquired US professional skincare brands PCA Skin and Elta MD in 2018, followed by premium consumer skincare brand Filorga of France in 2019. "Naturally friendly" US brand Hello was acquired in 2020, and encompasses a variety of oral and personal care products. Household care includes Palmolive washing-up liquids, tablets and wipes and Ajax cleaners (also known as Axion in some countries), Murphy Oil Soap and a range of international washing-up and dishwashing products under the Fabuloso, Pinho Sol, Dona Blanca, Klorix and other brand names. The group has steadily wound down its presence in laundry detergents since 2003, selling its brands to regional competitors including P&G and Henkel, but it continues to market Soupline, Suavitel and Softlan fabric conditioners and softeners in several global markets, including the US. Perhaps the most incongruous member of its overall portfolio is Hill's Pet Nutrition, the world's 4th largest pet food business with sales of $2.9bn in 2020. Unsually for an American company, Colgate-Palmolive is truly international, deriving 70% of its sales outside the US. Until 2020, its biggest region, in fact, was not the domestic market but Latin America where it generated almost a quarter of revenues. However, exchange rates caused a dip in Latin America in 2020, putting North America into the lead for the first time in well over a decade. It remained narrowly ahead in 2021. Total revenues for the latter year were $17.4bn, with net income of $2.3bn. Noel Wallace succeeded Ian Cook as global CEO in 2019.

Capsule checked 14th May 2021

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Historical profile information for Colgate-Palmolive

Recent stories from Adbrands Update:

Adbrands Daily Update 26th Nov 2020: "Poochini: A Love Story". Everyone eats too much at this time of the year, and not just the humans. Here's a lovely timely reminder for Hill's Pet Nutrition from Red Fuse, WPP's bespoke agency for Colgate-Palmolive businesses. Pets need to watch what they consume just as much as we do. Yes, it slightly overdoes the sentiment, but then that's a feature of this time of year too.

Adbrands Daily Update 17th Jun 2020: Responding to the re-energised Black Lives Matter movement, PepsiCo and Mars have announced plans to review food products whose branding harks back to America's segregated past. PepsiCo's Quaker Oats division said it would change the packaging of its Aunt Jemima syrup and pancake mix range, acknowledging that the current mascot design was still "based on a racial stereotype". A change of name is also likely before the end of the year. "While work has been done over the years to update the brand in a manner intended to be appropriate and respectful, we realize those changes are not enough," said Quaker CMO Kristin Kroepfl. Mars was quick to follow, promising to evaluate "all possibilities" for its Uncle Ben's rice range. "As we listen to the voices of consumers, especially in the Black community, and to the voices of our Associates worldwide, we recognize that now is the right time to evolve the Uncle Ben's brand, including its visual brand identity," the company said. Colgate-Palmolve, too, said it would "review and evolve" the branding of its Asian toothpaste brand Darlie, known as Darkie until 1989. In China it is still marketed under a name that translates as "black person's toothpaste".

Adbrands Daily Update 24th Jan 2020: The previously acquisitions-agnostic Colgate-Palmolive agreed to acquire US-based oral care start-up Hello Products for $351m. Hello positions itself as a "naturally-friendly" - it has trademarked that descriptor - lifestyle brand, offering adult and kids toothpaste, mouth rinse, toothbrushes and floss as well as deodorants and skincare products. Colgate-Palmolive has made only four significant acquisitions since 2010, two of them in just the past six months. The two previous were Sanex in 2011 and PCA Skin/Elta MD skincare in 2018.

Adbrands Daily Update 12th Jul 2019: New Colgate-Palmolive CEO Noel Wallace signed off on his first major acquisition for the group, with a deal to acquire French company Laboratoires Filorga Cosmetiques for almost €1.5bn. The purchase is Colgate's first move into premium skincare. Filorga is a premium anti-aging brand focused primarily on facial care. Originally founded in France in 1978, the brand is now sold in over 60 countries with its largest markets being France, Italy, Spain and Greater China. 

Adbrands Daily Update 12th Feb 2019: Seven months on from his elevation to group president & COO, Noel Wallace's promotion to CEO was announced by Colgate-Palmolive. He will succeed Ian Cook at the beginning of April; Cook moves to executive chairman for up to a year before retiring.

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