Reckitt & Colman and Benckiser combine

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Reckitt & Colman on July 27 said it is merging with the Dutch company Benckiser, creating the world's largest marketer of household cleaners, excluding laundry detergents. Reckitt Benckiser will have annual sales of about $5 billion.

With the deal, Reckitt & Colman breaks into mass fragrances via Benckiser's Coty. Reckitt & Colman brands include French's, Lysol, Resolve, Wizard and Woolite. McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York, handles all but French's mustard, which is at Warwick Baker O'Neill. In the U.S., Reckitt's total ad spending is about $100 million annually.

Benckiser's brands in the U.S. include Aspen, Coty and Stetson fragrances, as well as Calgon, Electrasol, Jet-Dry and Vanish. Total ad spending, mainly behind Coty's fragrances and Electrasol tabs, has also been about $100 million a year. The companies didn't say how ad assignments would be affected. Benckiser's U.S. agencies include Della Femina/Jeary & Partners; Fresiorn, Mee & Kraft; Margeotes/Fertitta & Partners; and Seiden Group, all New York.

Copyright July 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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