P&G Goes Direct in Head-to-Head With Retailers

20 October 2008

CINCINNATI: In a bold (some would say foolhardy) move the planet's biggest advertiser has hurled down the gauntlet to the supermarkets and other retail giants that re-sell its brands. 

The likes of Wal-Mart and Safeway will not be best pleased to learn that Procter & Gamble is testing the internet as a sales channel for its range of toothpaste, household cleaning and diaper brands.

Although the scale of the pilot scheme is presently small, its implication are anything but.

The FMCG giant has set-up a website theEssentials.com that exclusively sells P&G brands, even single items like a tube of Crest toothpaste, a bottle of Mr Clean, plus cartons of Pampers and Luvs diapers along with OralB toothbrushes and Gillette razor brands.

In a move that is hardly likely to fool – let alone placate – angry retailers, the site is operated by a third party, which is also the legal owner of the product inventory.

Claims P&G spokesman Paul Fox: "We treat them [the site operator] like any other retailer as they buy product directly from us." 

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff