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(April 4, 2001) -- Procter & Gamble Co., Cincinnati, is launching Tempo paper handkerchiefs in the U.S. this month via a partnership with General Motors Corp. Packs of the new product will be distributed through GM Goodwrench Service Plus dealers to customers who redeem coupons for spring specials on oil changes.

Tempo, a European brand, is positioned as an all-purpose cleaning wipe for use on everything from soaking up spills to polishing shoes and removing makeup. GM service outlets will distribute gift packs that include a Tempo car case that fits on sun visors, two car case refills and two pocket packs.

P&G also begins selling Tempo direct to consumers on April 5, via its Web site, for $8.99 for a case of 54 pocket packs, each with seven sheets. Ultimately, P&G plans to roll Tempo into retail stores later this year, the company said.

Bcom3 Group's D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, New York, handles the brand. While the paper handkerchief category is virtually nonexistent in the U.S., it's a $300 million category in Germany, where P&G's Tempo commands a 42% share, according to Prudential Securities. -- Jack Neff

Copyright April 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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