Dutch blow to Unilever soap powder: Consumer group challenged over its findings on 'wear and tear'
Thursday 15 September 1994
The consumer body's credibility was quickly challenged, however, when Albert Heijn, one of the Netherlands' largest retail chains, advised its outlets to disregard its conclusions.
Procter and Gamble has been attacking the Unilever product - known as Omo Power in the Netherlands and Persil Power in the UK - since its launch earlier this year, claiming it causes undue damage to clothes. It has targeted European consumer groups in an attempt to discredit the product.
The Dutch association, Consumentenbond, giving its verdict after tests on the powder, said it 'washes just as clean as another good bleach-containing detergent at 40 and 60 degrees centigrade. However, we feel that the wear-and-tear of the washing is too high, especially for coloured cotton'.
Unilever, whose senior executives suspect a Procter and Gamble-inspired 'dirty tricks' campaign, immediately challenged the Dutch group's findings. 'The conclusions fly in the face of the actual test results,' a source said.
Procter and Gamble tried unsuccessfully to prevent the launch of Unilever's product last March, claiming it had evidence that it damaged clothes. Procter has since campaigned to try to have the powder removed from supermarket shelves.
Unilever feels that consumer associations are apt to come out with stronger conclusions than their tests merit, because of the publicity value of such action. Privately, it had expected the Dutch group to be more favourable than the UK Consumers Association, which it already considers will support Procter and Gamble's stance.
Unilever said yesterday that the test results in the Netherlands were not unfavourable, even though the overall conclusions of Consumentenbond were. It said that 'although the publication mentions good to very good evaluations for several test aspects, it seems that the Consumentenbond only partly recognises the specific properties of Omo Power in the areas of stain removal and environmental benefits'.
In a falling UK market, shares in Unilever fell 25p to 1,117p. The shares lost 3.30 guilders to close at 196.50 in Amsterdam.
Culinary experts in The Netherlands thought it was 'fresh' and 'tasty'
- 1 Marijuana use by teenagers does not result in a lower IQ or worse exam results, study finds
- 2 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 NHS staff banned from drinking tea or coffee on the job because it looks like they're not working hard enough
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
Kim Jong-un 'purge': Six North Korea officials missing for weeks 'may have been executed'
Diwali: What is the festival of lights – and how is it celebrated around the world?
Nathan Cirillo: Final pictures emerge of soldier moments before he was shot dead by Ottowa gunman
Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
iJobs Money & Business
£350 - £360 per day: Ashdown Group: SQL Developer with T-SQL, Watford, Hertfor...
120-150k: Accountancy Action: We are looking for an experienced CFO from a min...
£24000 - £28000 per annum + bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Business Syste...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: The SThree group is a world le...