Unilever, iVillage in online venture

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Unilever formed a joint venture with iVillage Inc., New York, to market beauty and personal-care products online. The two companies will build and develop the Beauty Channel within iVillage's site, and also launch in the second half a separate Web site that will sell products from Unilever and other companies. Each partner will provide $200 million in cash and other resources to start the venture, which will reap revenue from advertising and sales. The still-unnamed company will function as an independent, New York-based venture headed by CEO David L. Stern, former VP of Unilever's Interactive Brand Center. The venture will get "considerable" marketing support, said Charles B. Strauss, president of Unilever's North American home and personal-care unit. The marketing support will come across all media, Mr. Strauss said, adding Unilever hasn't chosen an agency to develop marketing plans.

Copyright February 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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