P&G HOPES TO DO FOR DISPOSABLE BIBS WHAT IT DID FOR DIAPERS

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(April 23) -- Procter & Gamble Co. will begin to ship Pampers Bibsters disposable bibs to retailers at the end of this month in its latest effort to extend the brand from diapers into the broader baby-care category.

Backed by TV and print ads from Bcom3 Group's D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, New York, breaking in June and July, Pampers aims to do for bibs what it did for diapers 40 years ago -- make them a convenient, disposable necessity for parents, said a P&G spokeswoman. Spending figures weren't available.

Deb Henretta, president-global baby care for P&G, said in a prepared statement she thinks disposable bibs will travel the same route as disposable diapers four decades ago -- used by parents at first during travel and then ultimately everyday in the home. Disposable diapers have become a $4.5 billion category in the U.S. A P&G spokeswoman wouldn't estimate how big Bibsters could become.

The paper bibs, which have three layers, a clothlike feel and Velcro-like fasteners, come in two sizes -- for children younger and older than 6 months. Bibsters will be packaged in 20- and 40-count packs with suggested retail prices of $3.99 and $7.59, respectively.

"This for us is just one important baby step toward extending our baby-care business beyond diapers and wipes," the spokeswoman said.

P&G also began selling Pampers Matsters -- disposable diaper changing mats -- in the U.K. last year, but has not announced plans to roll that product into the U.S. -- Jack Neff

Copyright April 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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