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Andrew Jergens Co. is readying its first facial skincare line under the Jergens name.

The introduction, expected to be announced in April, will follow the impressive 1997 launch of the marketer's Biore brand.


Jergens has slated an estimated $25 million-plus in marketing for new Jergens Facial Care, a six-product line that, like Biore, will try to differentiate itself from competitors by focusing on tangible, immediate results instead of longer-term anti-aging benefits.

Suissa Miller, Los Angeles, handles Jergens bodycare and is said to have the brand's new facial line. Biore is at Deutsch, New York. Agency executives would not comment.

"The consumer is getting bored by alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids [both anti-aging ingredients] and is looking for something different that she can actually see substantiated," said one executive familiar with the plans.

Another executive cited Biore's revolutionary Biore Pore Packs as an example of a product with a quick payoff, easily recognizable by consumers.


The strips are a specially formulated adhesive applied to the nose, left to dry and then removed, taking blackheads with them. The product has been so successful it's been extended into patches for other oily facial parts, and was quickly imitated by Unilever's Pond's brand.

Industry executives said Pond's Pore Strips and Biore strips now do about $100 million in annual sales between them, and have catapulted the respective brands into leadership positions within the $1 billion facial category, previously controlled by Procter & Gamble Co.'s Oil of Olay and L'Oreal's Plenitude.

ACNielsen Corp. figures for the four weeks ended Feb. 14 show Pond's leading the entire facial care category with a a 14.6% share, and Biore No. 2 with a 14.1% share; Oil of Olay is in third place with a 12.6% share.

In the $429 million facial cleanser segment for the 52 weeks ended Jan. 25, Pond's sales grew 25.8% to $42.8 million, for a 10% share, placing it in the No. 2 spot behind P&G's Noxzema, which held a 14% share, although its sales fell 5.1%, to $59.9 million.


Meanwhile, Biore climbed from nowhere to a No. 3 position in the 52-week data, with sales up 100% to $40.2 million for a 9.4% share.

One executive at a rival company called that "tremendous, considering the product wasn't on the market a year ago.

"Innovation does pay," he added.


Among the six products in the new Jergens facial care line will be Foaming Face Wash, with "cleansing microbeads" that dissolve as massaged into the skin for superior cleansing without irritation, according to executives close to Jergens.

Also this year, Biore will be extended with new items, including a face mask that warms when applied to the skin.

Jergens is expected to raise Biore's marketing spending significantly above last year's $25 million.

Meanwhile, L'Oreal's Interbeauty division has introduced a line of facial and body-care products under the Natural Sea Beauty name in the New York metro area.

McCann-Erickson, New York, handles the account; the print creative was a joint effort with its Montreal-based Marketel unit.

Contributing: Alice Z. Cuneo.

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