UNILEVER TO MAIL OUT ITS OWN MAGAZINES BACKING U.K. BRANDS

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[london] Unilever this week unveils seven custom magazines in the U.K., the marketer's first attempt at sharing customer database information across its subsidiaries.

The magazines will be targeted at specifically determined groups of households, with a view to building relationships between consumers and all the Unilever brands in one marketing exercise.

TAPPING BRAND LOYALTY

The company hopes the magazines will encourage buyers of some Unilever products to become loyal to others, too. Another advantage is to share database costs across all the brands featured.

The U.K. was chosen for the test because the markets for Unilever's core products-food, detergents and personal products-are established and highly competitive, a spokesman said.

If successful, the concept will be expanded to other countries.

"With anything Unilever does, if there is the potential outside the market in which it is conceived, it will be considered," the spokes-man said. "One of the benefits of being a global business is that you can transfer ideas across markets."

Data garnered from U.K. consumer questionnaires have been used to create the seven magazines, which carry coupons. The magazines are targeted at different groups of consumers, depending on whether they rated health, convenience or value most important.

SENT TO 1 MIL HOUSEHOLDS

Carrying titles such as Fast 'n' Fab, Living Today and Shopper's Extra, the publications will be mailed to about 1 million homes in the first stage. Offers have been personalized to individual households. There is no obvious Unilever branding, but a personalized letter from the editor mentions that the magazines are sponsored by Unilever's Lever Bros., Birds Eye Wall's, Van den Bergh Foods and Elida Faberge.

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