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By Published on .

Procter & Gamble Co. is adding the Pampers name to its baby wipes in hopes of reversing share losses that have brought it to a dead heat with Kimberly-Clark Corp. in the $545 million category.

P&G began shipping Pampers Baby Fresh wipes last month and dropped direct mail coupons for the renamed brand in mid-February, along with coupons for Pampers disposable diapers.

The company also is restaging two specialty wipes in the Baby Fresh line as Pampers Rash Care and Pampers Gentle Touch, eliminating the Baby Fresh name and introducing green packaging that matches the Pampers diaper packs.

Trade executives said P&G has not discussed increased advertising for the wipes. P&G is not launching a new campaign for the brand, a spokesman said, though it is converting existing ads to include the Pampers name.


P&G also has changed its Pampers hospital sampling program to include baby wipes. D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, New York, handles ads for both Pampers wipes and diapers.

Spending on the brand was $7 million for the first nine months of 1996, according to Competitive Media Reporting, running at a slightly faster pace than the $8 million spent for all of 1995 by former owner Scott Paper Co.

P&G bought Baby Fresh along with Wash-A-Bye Baby and Kid Fresh wipes last May from Kimberly-Clark, which was required by the U.S. Justice Department to divest the brands following its acquisition of Scott.

P&G and Kimberly-Clark each had $170 million in sales and identical 31.2% market shares in the category for 1996, according to Information Resources Inc. But Kimberly-Clark captured share leadership for the second half of the year, said Dean Witter Equity Research.

The P&G spokesman blamed share losses on the baby wipes business' orphan status within the Scott and Kimberly-Clark organizations, and said P&G's share rebounded in January.

"We have people specifically dedicated to this brand and to explore ways to build the business through marketing and product improvement," he said.

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