J&J SCRATCHES UP LINE EXTENSION FOR BAND-AID

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Johnson & Johnson is giving some aid to its Band-Aid brand with a line extension that features triple antibacterial ointment in the bandage.

The premium-price product will be backed by $9 million in advertising support, the first major ad campaign for Band-Aid in several years.

A network TV campaign from McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York, will be aimed at parents and break in late spring.

Aside from a mention in a 1995 campaign for a J&J first-aid kit, Band-Aid itself has received virtually no support since a nearly $6 million effort in 1992, according to Competitive Media Reporting.

SLIM SUPPORT FOR CURAD

Chief rival Curad hasn't been getting a lot of help either. Kendall-Futuro Co. has supplied less than $1 million in annual media support for the past several years.

The bandage category, as defined by Information Resources Inc., grew 2.7% to $411.5 million for the year ended Dec. 31. J&J's sales in the category fell 1.6% to $224.4 million and a 54.5% share. Private label grew 2.9% last year, to $57.5 million and a 14% share.

Branded bandages have "been feeling a lot of private-label threat," said Paul Kelly, president, Silvermine Consulting. "Most of their efforts have been graphically oriented [with new colors and designs], and they've taken that horse as far as they can go."

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