K-C puts $80M on push

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Kimberly-Clark Corp. will put $80 million early next year behind the biggest launch ever for Scott toilet paper and the line extensions of Pull-Ups training pants aimed at speeding potty training.

Scott Extra Soft, which ships in mid-January, will be backed by a $40 million ad push from WPP Group's J. Walter Thompson, New York, that ranks as the brand's biggest ever, according to Kimberly-Clark.

The value-priced product is aimed primarily at Georgia-Pacific Corp.'s Angel Soft, a fellow value brand, said Mark Scott, president-North American family care for Kimberly-Clark. But Extra Soft is also part of the category's big-roll movement, launching at the same time as Procter & Gamble Co.'s Charmin Mega Roll (AA, Nov. 22).

K-C will also put about $40 million behind Pull-Ups as it looks to fend off gains by P&G, according to retail buyers. Pull-Ups will launch a new version with a "wetness liner" similar to Pampers Feel `n Learn, which has pushed Pampers to record training pants shares since this summer's launch (AA, Nov. 15).

Tests show consumers prefer the Pull-Ups version to Feel `n Learn, said Bob Thibault, president-child care of Kimberly-Clark, adding that parents who prefer a wetness liner remain a minority.

K-C will also launch Pull-Ups Potty Training Kits that include training pants along with a coloring book that teaches toileting skills and a sticker system for reinforcement.

Mr. Thibault said K-C is working with retailers to develop "potty training centers" that encompass multiple products, including wet wipes. Potty training may remove kids from the lucrative diaper market, but it's highly profitable for retailers and manufacturers while it lasts, he said.

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