COLGATE SEEKS TO DULL CREST WHITESTRIPS

New Tooth-Whitening Kit to Launch in Fall

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CINCINNATI (AdAge.com) -- Colgate-Palmolive Co. in September will launch Colgate Simply White in the U.S., the latest entry in a growing at-home tooth-whitening kit category, the company said.

Simply White is Colgate's response to Procter & Gamble Co.'s Crest Whitestrips, which P&G said has become a $200 million business since it was launched last year. Ads for Simply White, from WPP Group's Y&R Advertising, are expected to break later this fall.

Both products use

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peroxide gel to whiten teeth, and the product must be applied over 30-minute sessions, but Whitestrips uses a plastic strip to keep the gel in place.

Colgate has priced its whitening kit at $14.99 for retail, while Whitestrips are priced around $40; P&G has distributed an even more expensive "professional strength" version with dentists.

P&G has become more aggressive on price on many fronts in the past year. The marketer cut prices twice on its Swiffer WetJet bucketless mop when it came up against competition from the lower-priced Clorox ReadyMop, ultimately matching its competitor at a retail price of around $25.

A P&G spokesman wouldn't comment on pricing strategy but said Whitestrips has already grown the $300 million category it occupies, so there should be room for more growth.

"Four million consumers have already used Crest Whitestrips," he said, "and we're perfectly happy to let their smiles shine through with the message."

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