Energizer Personal-Care Brands Move From Grey to JWT

Conflict after Grey's Gillette win

Grey confirmed the shift of Energizer brands to WPP corporate sibling JWT, following the conflict created by Grey’s win of Procter & Gamble’s Gillette creative account in April.

Energizer manufactures shaving brands like Schick, Wilkinson Sword, and Edge and Skintimate shaving gels, all competitors to Gillette. JWT already works for Schick.

The products that are moving from Grey to JWT include sunscreens like Banana Boat and Hawaiian Tropic, Playtex tampons, and Fresh + Sexy Wipes.

In 2003 Energizer began expanding into personal-care products with the acquisition of razor brands Schick and Wilkinson Sword from Pfizer. Energizer then bought Playtex Products in 2007, which included Banana Boat and Hawaiian Tropic. (Grey has worked with Playtex since 1968.) Two years later, the company acquired Edge and Skintimate from S.C. Johnson.

In releasing fiscal third-quarter earnings on July 31, the company noted a “modest decline” in organic sales in its personal-care division. On a reported basis, sales in those operations dropped 3.6 percent, due to the unfavorable impact of currencies and challenging market conditions and competitive pressures in North America. Among specific product sectors, the company said its skin care sales dropped 7 percent because of the unusually wet weather this summer in America, which has impacted sunscreen usage.

In addressing that line of business in the latest earnings results, Energizer CEO Ward Klein said the company was “disappointed with our weak top-line results as we continued to see elevated levels of competitive promotional activity in our personal-care categories and many of these categories showed value devaluation in the quarter.”