P&G sells its Clearasil brand to unit of U.K. retailer Boots

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Procter & Gamble Co., Cincinnati, reached an agreement to sell its Clearasil skincare brand to Boots Healthcare International, a division of Boots Co., a U.K. pharmacy and beauty products retailer. The $340 million deal is subject to regulatory approvals. P&G announced last summer it had hired Goldman, Sachs & Co. to seek bids for the brand, which the marketer said makes up less than 2% of its beauty-care sales, as part of P&G's plans to concentrate on top brands such as Olay. Grey Worldwide, New York, handled Clearasil under P&G. The brand got $11 million in U.S. media last year, according to Competitive Media Reporting. For Boots, the Clearasil purchase gives the company its first brand in the U.S.

Separately, Boots Co. announced a strategic global agreement with a number of WPP Group units, affecting almost $116 million in communications spending. In essence, any retail chain or product bearing the Boots name will be handled by units of London-based WPP. All Boots branded consumer advertising goes to J. Walter Thompson Co. MindShare will be responsible for the company's $87 million U.K. media planning and buying account. Omnicom Group's Optimum Media Direction Worldwide previously handled media buying. Other WPP operating companies will supply most of Boots' consumer public relations, market research and brand consultancy needs.

Copyright October 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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