01 July 1997

DESPITE A RECENT statement by Unilever chairman Niall Fitzgerald that the food and household brands leviathan is 'looking to broaden the channels through which we can reach the consumer', the axe has fallen on its seven customer loyalty magazines launched last autumn via Brann. The group's stance at the time was that the magazines were 'a test to see if it is cost-effective for Unilever companies to share one database'. It now describes the project as 'a one-off that was very valuable', although a leaked internal document issued at the time of the launch stated that the intention was to extend the venture. The magazines, each targeted at a different lifestyle group, carried personalised coupons for subsequent data capture and tracking, with eventual direct mail follow-up for specific products.