FCA! in the dark as toothbrush maker Wisdom revamps

Wisdom, Britain’s oldest toothbrush manufacturer, is talking to agencies about a major relaunch next year to claw back lost market share.

Wisdom, Britain’s oldest toothbrush manufacturer, is talking to

agencies about a major relaunch next year to claw back lost market

share.



The move follows a re-evaluation of its strategy after its acquisition

earlier this year by Jordan AS, the Norwegian oral care to household

products conglomerate.



It puts a question mark over the account’s future at FCA!, which

acquired the business when it merged with Kelly Weedon Shute last

year.



Nobody at Wisdom was available for comment but Jordan has already

declared its intention to extend Wisdom’s product range into other

dental sectors such as floss.



James Kelly, the FCA! deputy chairman, said: ’Wisdom has not told us it

is putting the business up for pitch but it’s true that the company has

been reorganising itself since the Jordan takeover.’



The account, said to be worth pounds 1 million when KWS won it in March

1997, has been dormant since last year’s campaign to launch the Wisdom

Orbital, the innovative round-headed manual toothbrush.



However, Wisdom’s sales have been hit by the introduction of rival

products from toothpaste manufacturers, particularly SmithKline Beecham,

which has increased its share of the pounds 127 million UK toothbrush

market with the launch of the Flex range.



The highly fragmented market also has a strong own-label presence,

particularly at the value end.



Although the market has grown steadily during the past five years,

manufacturers believe it has considerably more potential because

consumers do not change their toothbrushes regularly.



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