Beiersdorf, Kao bring new skin technology to Europe

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HAMBURG -- Beiersdorf is launching across Europe a new skin treatment product based on technology developed by its joint venture partner Kao Corp. of Tokyo.

Nivea Visage Kao biore, a new method for cleansing blocked pores and blackheads, will be introduced to France on April 15, followed by Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Portugal and Greece on May 1, backed by a heavyweight ad campaign for which TBWA, Hamburg, is the lead agency.

The product is a strip which when moistened and stuck to the skin for 10 minutes works to cleanse pores.

Kao biore made its debut in Japan in 1996, notching up sales of $90 million in its firstyear. In 1997, it launched in the U.S.,with Jergens as its partner, where it has also found great success.

Beiersdorf is confident the new brand will perform similarly well in Europe; market research reports 40% of the population suffers from the problem of blocked pores or blackheads. The market for facial cleansers is $140 million in Germany and $120 million in France.

Beiersdorf and Kao have worked together for more than 25 years. The Nivea Kao Corp., in which Beiersdorf has 60% and Kao 40%, was set up in 1972.

Copyright April 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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