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By Published on .

James River Corp. repositions Quilted Northern bathroom tissue in a $22 million-plus ad effort breaking today.

The advertising will emphasize absorbency rather than softness.

This is a new strategy for the category, in which rival brands such as Procter & Gamble Co.'s Charmin, Kimberly-Clark's Corp. Kleenex Cottonelle and Georgia-Pacific Corp.'s Angel Soft have all been promoting softness, said Paula Burke, management supervisor on the Northern business at DDB Needham Worldwide, New York.


"Women use 75% of bathroom tissue, and we've learned that what's important to them is absorbency," said Francis Florido, VP-category manager for Quilted Northern at James River. "Softness is the price of entry in the premium category."

The campaign features animated characters created by Bonnie Timmons, the cartoon artist of NBC's "Caroline in the City."

A TV spot showing female cartoon characters quilting absorbent bathroom tissue breaks on that show tonight and will continue to run in daytime, syndication and prime-time programming.

The cartoon characters will also be featured on packaging, direct mail and point of purchase, and may be used in future print ads.

James River announced earlier this month a $5.8 billion merger with Fort Howard

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