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July 1, 2000 Vol. 55 No. 12 Back to Bulletin Main Page

OIL OF OLAY Gets a Makeover

OIL OF OLAY, owned by Proctor & Gamble, is getting a new image and a new name. Without fanfare, P&G is phasing out the OIL OF OLAY name and graphic design and renaming the product OLAY and subtly modifying the packaging design.

P&G decided to truncate the venerable name because of younger women's perception of the word "oil" and their aversion to purchasing products that are believed to contain the substance. According to Virginia Coleman Drosos, general manager for skin care in North America, P&G is not publicizing the name change because it does not want to draw attention to the fact that the name was OIL OF OLAY in the first place. OIL OF OLAY, which started as a moisturizer for burn victims in World War II, has been sold as a "beauty fluid" to consumers since 1962.

Just as it trims the name to OLAY, P&G is expanding its product offering under the brand. The OLAY name will now be used on cosmetics focusing on "skin-caring" qualities, including disposable cleansing cloths that become thick and foamy when run under water. P&G hopes that this product will have a global appeal.


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