Unilever promotes brands online

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NEW YORK -- Unilever has struck a deal with New York-based online supermarket NetGrocer to promote its brands and services to consumers across the U.S. while they are ordering groceries from their homes.

The partnership gives the AngloDutch marketer exclusive category sponsorship with sole rights for advertising, marketing and research in certain of its product categories. In return, NetGrocer, the first U.S.wide online supermarket on the Internet, has access to Unilever's expertise in marketing, category management and supply chain.

The aim for both players is to gain a better understanding of consumers and discover how to create tailored interactive marketing programs for them. Initially, the project will include Unilever's U.S. brands, which include Lipton, Ragu and Five Brothers pasta sauces; Imperial, Promise and Country Crock spreads; Lever 2000, Dove and Caress personal wash products; Wisk, "all" and Surf detergents; Mentadent, Pepsodent, Aim and Close-Up toothpaste, and Finesse, Salon Selectives, ThermaSilk, Suave and Aqua Net hair care products.

The partnership follows an alliance announced July 1 between Unilever, America Online Inc. and Microsoft Corp. to develop interactive marketing and new media programs, to gain a deeper understanding of consumers, and to help create marketing applications of new digital technologies.

"This agreement with NetGrocer is highly complementary to our AOL and Microsoft alliances," says Robert M. Phillips, president, Unilever Home and Personal Care - North America. "Now visitors to Unilever and NetGrocer Web sites will be able to take advantage of "Click-to-Buy" with their purchases being delivered directly to their homes."

NetGrocer sells non-perishables supermarket items online to consumers across the U.S. at competitive prices.

Copyright July 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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