JERGENS, P&G KICK OFF FACIAL CARE OFFERINGS: SKINCARE COS. PUT $55 MIL BEHIND BIORE, OIL OF OLAY

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Andrew Jergens Co. and Procter & Gamble Co.'s Oil of Olay next month begin introducing two new facial skincare lines with $55 million in marketing spending between them.

Jergens will put up an estimated $25 million to field Biore, a brand that has been successfully marketed in Japan for nearly a decade. P&G, meanwhile, will roll out its Oil of Olay Age Defying Series-market tested in California for the last eight months-with $30 million in marketing support.

Both are expected to be in Wal-Mart by the end of March and in other stores by April, according to retail and industry executives.

NEW CATEGORY FOR JERGENS

Jergens is a newcomer to the $1 billion U.S. mass-market facial care category. In Japan, Biore has been marketed primarily as a facial cleansing line targeted at teens.

In the U.S., Biore, handled by Deutsch, New York, will be aimed at women 18 to 28 years old and is also expected to encompass a broader range of facial and body care products.

Oil of Olay's Age Defying Series is P&G's second crack at the anti-wrinkle segment of facial care, the hottest sector due to the popularity of alpha hydroxy acids.

Two years ago, P&G withdrew a salicylic acid-based formula of night and eye creams because of consumer complaints about irritation. The new Age Defying line is made with beta hydroxy acids, which so far have shown no irritating side effects.

Oil of Olay has run at least three testimonial spots in test markets Los Angeles and San Francisco from Wells Rich Greene BDDP, New York. The spots, expected to be used in the national launch, carry the tagline "A lifetime of beautiful skin."

In one spot for Daily Renewal Cleanser, a woman says, "I'm not interested in being 18 again, but if there was a sale on wrinkles I certainly wouldn't want to buy any."

P&G is not the only marketer selling a product with the Age Defying label. Unilever's Chesebrough-Pond's uses that descriptor on some of its moisturizers, while Revlon has built an entire line of makeup around the Age Defying name and actress Melanie Griffith. Revlon is also expected this year to add skincare products.

While executives close to both P&G and Chesebrough said the name is generic, a spokeswoman for Revlon noted, "The Age Defying name is closely identified with Revlon. We have created an extremely successful franchise and plan to continue to aggressively invest in its growth."

PLENITUDE FOLLOWS OLAY

In the $468.6 million facial moisturizer category, Olay remains the leader with a 25.4% share, followed by L'Oreal's Plenitude with a 17.1% share, according to Information Resources Inc. No. 2 Plenitude is among the fastest-growing brands in the segment, with sales up 23% to $80 million for the 52 weeks ended Dec. 29. During the same time, Olay's sales dropped nearly 9% to $119 million.

In the $359 million facial cleansing segment, Noxzema, a teen brand, leads with

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