HELEN COMPLETES BUY: Personal care and household products maker Helen of Troy Ltd. said Thursday its deal — announced March 10 — to acquire the Pert Plus hair care, and Sure antiperspirant and deodorant brands from Innovative Brands for an undisclosed sum was closed on Wednesday. “We expect to quickly integrate Pert Plus and Sure into our Idelle Labs division, which markets and manages our hair and skin care brands,” stated Gerald J. Rubin, chairman, chief executive officer and president of Helen of Troy. “We also expect that sales of the Pert Plus and Sure brands will be approximately $65 million on an annual basis, and that the acquisitions will be accretive upon their integration.” Pert Plus is a leader in the $2 billion U.S. shampoo market, and Sure is a leader in the $1.7 billion U.S. antiperspirant and deodorant category, the company said. Also in Helen of Troy’s Idelle Labs division are the Infusium 23, Ogilvie, Brut, Sea Breeze and Vitalis brands.

Beiersdorf AG will have introduced a new executive board structure starting next month. As of May 1, responsibilities for the company, which owns the Nivea, Eucerin and La Prairie Brands, will fall under six managers for three functional and three regional divisions. Those staying put include Thomas-B. Quaas as executive board chairman, and board member Pieter Nota who oversees marketing and innovation. Finance responsibilities remain with Bernhard Düttmann, who will also take over human resources from Peter Kleinschmidt, who will leave the company after 25 years of service. In terms of regional assignments, Markus Pinger takes on the Americas, in addition to his current responsibility over the supply chain, James C. Wei, hired last year to oversee the Asia region, remains in that role, and a new board member will be found for the Europe region. The executive board also has defined two core strategies, “focus on skin care” and “closer to markets.”

SECOND SKIN: The Olay brand has tapped Thandie Newton to front a campaign for its Total Effects skin care line in the U.K. The actress will star in TV advertisements, which will kick off today, and in a print campaign beginning April 5. “When filming, my working day is hectic, so trying to strike a balance between work, a family and time for myself can be challenging. That’s why I was keen to get involved in the campaign for Olay Total Effects,” stated Newton, who has signed a six-month contract with the Procter & Gamble Co.-owned brand. “It’s a brand I trust, and I love the fact that it offers me an all-in-one antiaging moisturizer, which takes care of all my skin care needs and does the skin care multitasking for me.” The London-born actress is known for her roles in movies including “W.” and “Crash.”

PLANTING SEEDS: Yes to Carrots, the eco-conscious personal care brand, has launched the nationwide Yes to Carrots Garden Challenge, in partnership with The Environmental Media Association. To enter, public school students — from kindergarten to eighth grade — can upload a short video to the contest’s Facebook page explaining why a garden would be a positive addition to their school. The deadline for submissions is May 12, and the panel of judges includes Emmanuelle Chriqui, Rosario Dawson, Amy Smart, Carter Oosterhouse and Yes to Carrots co-founder Ido Leffler. The winning school will receive a $5,000 grant from the Yes to Carrots Seed Fund to help buy seeds, plants, gardening equipment and irrigation support, as well as a year’s worth of supplies from Kellogg Garden Products.

CEW WEST: Sonia Kashuk, founder of her namesake brand sold at Target, and Jillian Dempsey, Avon Products Inc.’s global creative color director, spoke about their paths to becoming leading makeup artists and brand builders, and key issues facing the beauty industry last month at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills for CEW’s Women in Beauty Series, moderated by Martha McCully of MMC Media LLC. Kashuk decried a lack of consumer education in the industry. “Women still today have an incredible fear factor about makeup,” she said. Delving into the controversy over airbrushing ads, Kashuk and Dempsey didn’t blame retouching for turning women off the beauty industry. “Within the advertising-editorial world, there’s always been a lot of illusion,” said Kashuk. “It’s more strange than I think right or wrong.” On the social media craze, Kashuk and Dempsey expressed varying desires to participate. “I don’t tweet, and I don’t even belong to Facebook,” admitted Dempsey. Kashuk embraced Twitter, saying, “The one thing that I never had is a voice, and the fact that I can establish a voice through online is very exciting.”

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