P&G Files to Trademark Some Millennial Phrases

(Bloomberg) -- SRSLY, P&G?

Procter & Gamble Co., the world’s largest consumer-products company, is trying to lock down the use of some of the millennial-friendly terms that litter social media.

As part of a bid to attract younger shoppers to its brands, the Cincinnati-based maker of Tide detergent and Pantene shampoo has applied to trademark LOL, NBD, FML and WTF, which it wants to use in cleaning and air freshening products.

P&G Files to Trademark Some Millennial Phrases

Chief Executive Officer David Taylor has said P&G already does well with millennials. But a new board member, Nelson Peltz, has faulted the company for being slow to respond to rapidly changing preferences. Upstart products are increasingly eroding market share from established brands, and consumer-products companies have turned to buying smaller rivals to capture their growth.

In the past year, P&G has acquired brands like Native deodorant, which markets itself as “deodorant that isn’t a chemistry experiment,” and introduced greener versions of classic products, including a line called Pampers Pure Protection. It also bought Snowberry, a New Zealand skincare company, in February.

P&G declined to comment on the move, which was reported earlier by Ad Age.

Now the consumer-products giant faces the question: Will trademarking the terms attract the coveted younger buyers?

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