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Mennen's Borated Talcum Toilet Powder, 1898 advertisement.
|Previous owners||1878 - Mennen Company|
1992 - Colgate
Mennen is a brand owned in most parts of the world by the Colgate-Palmolive Company. Its most notable product, Mennen Speed Stick, with its fougère perfume and green wide stick, was the market leader among deodorants and antiperspirants for men for many years. It was also noted for its Teen Spirit deodorant, which was the leader in teenage girls' deodorants during the early 1990s.
The Mennen Company was founded in 1878 by Gerhard Heinrich Mennen, an immigrant from Germany. His first product was talcum-based powder, an innovation at the time. The company was originally located in Newark, New Jersey, moving to Morristown, New Jersey in 1953, where it manufactured and sold over-the-counter pharmaceuticals and personal products such as the Skin Bracer, Speed Stick, and Baby Magic products. Lady Speed Stick was a foray into the women's market, and was a huge success due to its shape, which fit a woman's hand, and fragrances. Gerhard's grandson, G. Mennen Williams, served as Governor of Michigan from 1949-1961 and as Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson from 1961-1966.[clarification needed]
The slogan By Mennen was created by Richard J. Mercer to advertise Mennen products. The associated jingle, written by Doug Katsaros, contained just three notes, and ended each television commercial for Mennen products.
The company was led by several generations of the Mennen family before being sold to Colgate in 1992. Today none of the Mennen family is involved in the company or its current parent. The former headquarters building, in Morris Twp., New Jersey, is in the process of being demolished. Next to it remains the Mennen Arena, a multi-purpose sports facility often used for hockey and public ice skating.
At Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, there is a giant advertisement painted on the rock face of Maryland Heights. While faded and indistinct today, it reads "Mennen's Borated Talcum Toilet Powder" and was painted between 1903 and 1906.
Today, the name Mennen is being phased out in some regions and products in many countries are becoming known simply as Speed Stick or Lady Speed Stick. In North America, both products, as well as Skin Bracer and Afta are still being marketed as being "by Mennen," where the name is still well-known and holds positive connotations. The Baby Magic line was sold to Playtex, who has since sold the brand to Naterra; Colgate-Palmolive retained the Baby Magic branding (as Baby Magic Mennen) for the Latin American market.
- L'Oréal France: Mennen contact Archived 2012-03-30 at the Wayback Machine(in French)
- beaute-test.com: Les produits de la marque Mennen(in French)
- Watts, Carl. "G. Mennen Williams and the contest to decide U.S. policy towards Africa, 1961-1966". Retrieved 29 July 2013.
- Harpers Ferry National Historical Park FAQ
- Baby Magic Mennen Archived 2011-08-10 at the Wayback Machine(in Spanish)