CREST TOOTH-WHITENER ADS GO ON OFFENSIVE

P&G Looks to Answer Gains by Colgate's Simply white

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CINCINNATI (AdAge.com) -- Procter & Gamble Co.'s Crest Whitestrips is taking the latest step in the whitener wars, taking on Colgate-Palmolive Co.'s upstart Simply White home tooth whitener in two new TV ads breaking today.

The ads, from Publicis Groupe's D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, New York, include the first comparison advertising in the category, with one spot claiming Whitestrips' superiority over Colgate Simply White and another citing Whitestrips' 10 million satisfied consumers.

Price wars
The new campaign follows

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P&G's move last month to slash Whitestrips' retail price by $10 to $14 to the $25 to $30 range. Simply White retails for under $15.

Whitestrips, launched nationally in May 2001, have annual global sales of more than $200 million, and P&G Chairman-CEO A.G. Lafley said last month that Whitestrips' volume in the third quarter was 70% ahead of last year despite Simply White's September launch.

But Colgate-Chairman-CEO Reuben Mark said Simply White had captured category leadership and a 48% dollar share in the last two weeks of the quarter.

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