Noxzema Finds a New Home With Alberto-Culver

Once Iconic Skin-Care Brand Idled at P&G in Recent Years

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BATAVIA, Ohio (AdAge.com) -- Alberto-Culver Co. has agreed to buy worldwide rights and trademarks for the Noxzema skin-care brand from Procter & Gamble Co. for an undisclosed amount, the company said today.
The agreement between Alberto-Culver Co. and P&G includes the existing business in the U.S., Canada and parts of Latin America.
The agreement between Alberto-Culver Co. and P&G includes the existing business in the U.S., Canada and parts of Latin America.

The agreement includes the existing business in the U.S., Canada and parts of Latin America, but P&G will continue to operate its existing Noxzema skin care, deodorant and body wash and soap business in parts of Western Europe.

"Noxzema is an iconic U.S. skin-care brand," Alberto-Culver CEO V. James Marino said in a statement, adding that it "has great equity among consumers and, together with our existing St. Ives skin-care brand, will provide us with significant opportunities for growth."

Nearly $60 million in sales
Noxzema had $39.9 million in sales across numerous categories for the 52 weeks ended June 15, according to Information Resources Inc., with sales likely around $60 million in all channels. The disposable razor line, for which P&G licensed the name to Universal Razor Corp. nearly a decade ago, has been gaining share. But Noxzema has been losing share in all other categories.

P&G pulled the media plug on Noxzema more than a year ago, said people familiar with the brand. In all, it got $2 million in media support last year and a total of $69.6 million the prior five years, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett, Chicago, remains agency of record, as it has been since P&G acquired the brand. Publicis sibling Starcom MediaVest Group handles what remains of media planning and buying. WPP Group's Bridge Worldwide, Cincinnati, handles digital.

Noxzema had never been a major focus for P&G since it was acquired in 1989, with Cover Girl cosmetics having been seen as the major prize in the company's acquisition of Noxell. P&G also put more focus on the Oil of Olay brand it acquired four years earlier from Richardson-Vicks.

Smaller stable of brands
At Alberto-Culver, Noxzema joins a stable of smaller niche brands, also including Tresemme and Nexxus, which have been the biggest share gainers in U.S. hair care the past two years.

Interpublic Group of Cos.' Campbell-Mithun, Minneapolis, and Omnicom Group's Element 79, Chicago, handle advertising for Alberto-Culver brands.
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