The growing intensity of competition worldwide from the likes of Procter & Gamble and Unilever has driven US household products manufacturer Colgate-Palmolive into a draconian restructuring operation - for which it has taken charges for $45 million (€33.49m; £23.13m) this year and $250m-$300m in 2005.

In all the company plans one hundred initiatives, among them the development of proprietary systems to run with SAP's supply-chain software. These will improve the efficiency of Colgate's advertising and promotional spending.

It also revealed it will consolidate global media buying and other purchasing within a single organization in an effort to improve ROI.

However, the most painful measure will be a 12% reduction in the Colgate workforce - equivalent to 4,4000 jobs. Many of these will inevitably be in the marketing department, although the company says that in "high potential" countries new jobs could be created to accelerate "innovative marketing and new products".

No reference was made in the company's announcement, issued Tuesday, as to the future of its stateside marketing operation.

Data sourced from AdAge (USA); additional content by WARC staff