P&G to acquire women’s body care and grooming brand Billie
“We're thrilled by the prospect of joining P&G to bring high-quality products at affordable prices to women around the world,” says Georgina Gooley, co-founder of Billie, in this week’s media release about the deal.
“Their ability to create global household brands that have stood the test of time,” she says, “is a testament to their brand-building expertise; together, we'll be able to create an even stronger brand for womankind.”
Why is P&G buying Billie?
For P&G the acquisition is about access to Billie’s engaged and loyal consumer base as much as it is about grooming products. “The impact and consumer connection Georgina and Jason have been able to make with Billie in a short period of time has been remarkable,” Gary Coombe, CEO of P&G global grooming, says in the media release.
“The combination of Billie’s high-quality, naturals-focused razors and body care products, and P&G’s highly-skilled and experienced people, resources, technical capabilities and go-to-market expertise will allow us to further reach Millennial and Gen Z women through a fresh, bold attitude.”
What does the future of Billie look like?
Once the acquisition deal is complete, Gooley and Bravman will continue in their brand leadership roles.
And there are new Billie branded products in the pipeline, according to the media release. P&G promises to “fuel the development of additional products designed for the specific needs of women.”
Will P&G impose a Pink Tax on Billie women’s grooming products?
One bit of the Billie brand identity stands out for its absence in the acquisition announcement.
The media release P&G issued yesterday afternoon doesn’t mention Billie’s stance against the Pink Tax, even though this has been a key piece of the brand’s DNA (and surely its appeal to consumers) from the beginning.
“We’re Billie a new body brand offering high-quality shaving supplies and body care products at fair prices, and without the ‘pink tax’,” announces the about statement on the brand’s LinkedIn page, and the blurb goes on to says that, “We’re combating the ‘pink tax’ because the idea that women should pay more for something purely because of their gender is absurd.”
And there’s another Pink Tax explainer of the brand’s ecommerce site that emphasizes the brand’s commitment to fair pricing: “Ah, the pink tax: that extra amount women are charged for certain products or services, for no good reason. You see it with fashion, dry cleaning and personal care. And you see it with razors. We’re strongly against the pink tax. That’s why our razors aren’t just half the price of women’s shaving brands, they’re priced in line with men’s razor subscriptions. Drop the pink tax. Pick up Billie.”
How invested P&G is in Billie’s commitment to egalitarian pricing has yet to be seen.
Deanna Utroske is a leading voice in the cosmetics and personal care industry as well as in the indie beauty movement. As Editor of CosmeticsDesign.com, she writes daily news about the business of beauty in the Americas region and regularly produces video interviews with cosmetics, fragrance, personal care, and packaging experts as well as with indie brand founders.
Deanna will be speaking next at the Uplink Live event in LA this month (save 10% on tickets with code: CD10) and at Green Beauty Night in February.