BEAUTY CARE

Unilever amps up promotion of Vaseline men’s line with sports celebrity spokesmen

BY Antoinette Alexander

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. To help promote the launch of its new Vaseline Men line of body, face and hand lotions, Unilever has teamed up with professional athletes Michael Strahan and Chase Utley.

The Vaseline Men campaign is in cooperation with ESPN and can be seen in its magazine, on television, radio and the ESPN Web site, as well as other outlets. The campaign juxtaposes images of Strahan, a football champion and television pro football analyst, and Utley, a baseball All-Star, performing their daily workout regimens, demonstrating that it takes countless hours to strengthen your body but less than 15 seconds a day to fortify your skin.

The new lotion promises to absorb in 15 seconds for stronger, more resilient skin.

The Web site, www.strongerskin.com, will feature vignettes of Stahan and Utley’s specific training regimens. Sports fans can also log on to enter the “Prepping for Peak Performance” sweepstakes for a chance to win a grand prize package that includes fantasy football or baseball camp, HDTV and Vaseline Men product. In addition, 112 weekly winners will receive autographed merchandise, such as footballs and from Strahan. The sweepstakes ends Dec. 31.

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Estee Lauder releases new fragrances in mass retail market

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK The Estee Lauder Cos. have reportedly teamed up with Wal-Mart to launch a trio of scents later this year.

According to reports, the beauty firm’s Aramis and Designer Fragrances division will wade into the women’s mass-market fragrance category with its C-Thru scents slated to launch in Wal-Mart in December.

The rollout will continue in January with distribution to Kohl’s, Target and other mass retailers, according to reports. At full rollout, the scents will be sold in about 10,000 stores in North America.

This isn’t the first time, however, that Estee Lauder has dabbled in the mass market. Several years ago, the firm’s BeautyBank division developed products that first launched in Kohl’s. In addition, the company began distributing its Clinique brand to Canadian drug store chain Shoppers Drug Mart.

The beauty firm is likely hoping such initiatives will help bolster the bottom line as department stores in North America continue to face economic pressures and lose share to specialty retailers.

“We believe sales trends in the United States, Europe and travel retail will slow from current consensus expectations. We reduced our forecast for U.S. department store sales by 300bps for 2009, and already look for Europe and Asia to slow 400 bps year-over-year, bringing global growth to 5.8 percent versus guidance of 6 percent to 8 percent,” stated Morgan Stanley analyst William Pecoriello in a research note on Estee Lauder issued Wednesday.

Pecoriello downgraded Estee Lauder’s shares to underweight from equal-weight and moved down the price target to $48 from $51.

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CVS to carry Photo Therapeutics LED home skin treatment device

BY Antoinette Alexander

CARLSBAD, Calif. Photo Therapeutics, a developer of therapeutic LED technology for the physician dermatology market, announced with PhotoMedex that it is launching its Omnilux LED-based technology at nearly 600 CVS Healthy Skincare locations this fall and at cvs.com.

CVS will distribute Photo Therapeutics’ hand-held LED device, dubbed Omnilux New-U, for skin rejuvenation and the reduction of fine lines and peri-orbital wrinkles beginning in October.

According to the company, the Omnilux New-U is the first and only hand-held device to receive clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for over-the-counter sales to consumers for use at home.

The New-U can be used in combination with a skincare regime or as a stand-alone treatment.

In other company news, Photo Therapeutics has announced its intent to be acquired by PhotoMedex, players in medical laser treatments for psoriasis and other skin diseases and marketers of skincare products to dermatologists.  This union is expected to spur further investment in the research, development and marketing of Photo Therapeutics’ LED and light-based therapies under PhotoMedex to complement therapies in the medical, beauty and cosmetic fields. The proposed acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2008.  

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