Unilever is teaming up with Terra Lycos to market products online. Unilever will be specifically targeting the growing Hispanic population in the US, Spain and Latin America through the extended arrangement. It should succeed in boosting Hispanic awareness of Unilever products - but perhaps more interesting is the future potential, if the eCommerce plans the firms have alluded to actually materialize.

The Latino population is booming, and that is just who Unilever is targeting with its new initiative. Terra Lycos announced on Thursday that it will be expanding its relationship with the consumer goods giant, pitching Unilever products to the Spanish speaking population in the US, Spain and Latin America.

Terra Lycos has already been working with Unilever in Brazil for the last two years and the relationship has been working well. The agreement is now going to be extended to cover all countries where Terra Lycos, one of the world's largest Internet portals, operates. The two companies will work together to produce eContent targeting female Internet users as well as developing various Internet projects including data bank management and eCRM strategies. They also alluded to potential future eCommerce initiatives.

The first stage will involve the development of a new way to show Unilever products such as Hellmann's mayonnaise, Lipton tea, Calvin Klein perfumes and Dove soap. As part of this, the Internet portal will link content to Unilever products and trademarks, displaying products as the users surf.

The alliance is fairly insignificant at present, considering the enormity of the Unilever empire, but it may develop into a more potent partnership over time. Still, the agreement will shore up Terra Lycos' credibility and should produce greater publicity for Unilever among the Hispanic population - an increasingly lucrative consumer segment.

Although the deal might broaden to include eCommerce initiatives eventually, it is unusual for a company such as Unilever that doesn't usually deal with directly selling to consumers to venture into this area. It will be interesting to see whether the announced eCommerce projects actually materialize, or turn out to be just hype.

(c) 2001 Datamonitor. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without prior written consent. Datamonitor shall not be liable for errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.