Here is an extract from the Reckitt Benckiser 2007 Annual Report:
An acquired brand is only recognised on the balance sheet as an intangible asset where it is supported by a registered trademark, is established in the market place, brand earnings are separately identifiable, the brand could be sold separately from the rest of the business and where the brand achieves earnings in excess of those achieved by unbranded products. The value of an acquired brand is determined by allocating the purchase consideration of an acquired business between the underlying fair values of the tangible assets, goodwill and brands acquired. Brands are not generally amortised, as it is considered that their useful economic lives are not limited. . . . Their carrying values are reviewed annually by the directors to determine whether there has been any permanent impairment in value and any such reductions in their values are taken to the profit and loss account. Given the materiality of the brands (these include products such as Dettol, Air Wick, Calgonit-2- in-1, Lysol, Dettox, Finish, Vanish, Harpic) in relation to the total shareholders’ funds, discuss the information that you consider appropriate to be disclosed in the annual report in order to assess the level and nature of risk to an investor.