CLOROX POURS $12 MIL INTO BLEACH FREE ENTRY

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Clorox Co. is launching a "non-bleach" version of its Clorox 2 brand in hopes of luring consumers afraid that even color-safe bleaches will damage bright-colored clothes.

Clorox 2 Bleach-Free Laundry Booster will be backed by an estimated $10 million to $12 million campaign, including TV, print and couponing, from DDB Needham Worldwide, San Francisco. It breaks in early September.

Colored clothes of virtually all types can be washed safely using the original Clorox 2, which contains a non-chlorine bleach, a Clorox spokeswoman said. But Clorox research found some consumers are afraid to use any kind of bleach on colored clothes, often because of tags that mislabel many fabrics as "Do not bleach."

Clorox said it's positioning the product as a category first.

"There's no other product to address this specific need," the spokeswoman said.

NO BLEACHES

Clorox 2 Bleach-Free Laundry Booster contains enzymes and borax that loosen dirt and stains and soften water, but does not contain the sodium peroxide or other color-safe bleaches found in regular Clorox 2.

Ads for the line extension will use the "talking bleach package" creative approach of existing Clorox and Clorox 2, featuring the character starting its "first day on the job" for Clorox 2 Bleach-Free.

Clorox 2 has a 59.7% share of the $226 million color-safe bleach category, according to Information Resources Inc., but the company is looking to expand the category as well as its share with the new product.

Procter & Gamble Co.'s Cheer, Unilever's Wisk and Surf, and Dial Corp.'s Purex brands have added or boosted color-safety claims for their laundry detergents in recent years, and P&G added color-safe technology to its category-leading Downy fabric softener last year.

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