Unilever builds European site for detergent brands

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Unilever's European detergents subsidiary Lever Bros. is putting its brands on the World Wide Web and into CD-ROM format for the first time in an attempt to build a dialogue with its consumers and, specifically, to target men.

Its leading detergent brands - such as Persil in the U.K., Omo in the Netherlands, Skip in France and Bio Presto in Italy - will have a Web site that has been developed centrally with IBM and tailored to meet the specific needs of individual markets. The site will be accessible in 14 countries, in 11 languages.

In the U.K., for example, the Persil Web site will offer tips on clothes care, an image consultation, games and an e-mail service direct to the Persil Careline.

"We know that more women are getting into the Internet, so that's a hope for us," says Julie Sawyer, spokeswoman for Lever Bros. in the U.K. "But we're trying to get at males because [information] about detergents is difficult to get across [to them]."

The Web site and CD-ROM (which includes a children's game, a clothes care guide and the history of washing, including classic TV commercials) will be promoted by local agencies in each market along the lines of a communications package put together by Ammirati Puris Lintas London and PR agency Welbeck Golin/Harris London.

Copyright April 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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