P&G'S REUSABLE BOUNTY DRAWS $20 MIL IN SUPPORT NATIONAL ROLLOUT IS BIGGEST EVER FOR EXTENSION OF TOWEL BRAND

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Procter & Gamble Co. will roll a Rinse & Reuse version of its Bounty paper towels nationally in April with an estimated $20 million ad campaign.

The company bills the effort as the strongest marketing support ever for a line extension of the 32-year-old brand.

TV and print advertising from Jordan, McGrath, Case & Taylor, New York, will continue the "Little kids, big spills" theme Bounty has used for years, but will focus on the wider range of uses for Rinse & Reuse.

The signature shot for the campaign shows a paper towel being wrung out under a stream of water from a tap-"something existing towels can't do," said a P&G spokesman.

NEW WAYS TO USE IT

"Consumers keep finding new ways to use these," the spokesman said, based on findings in test markets P&G launched last year in Indiana, Iowa and Colorado.

Rinse & Reuse towels are 15% thicker than ordinary Bounty towels and come in 60- and 90-towel rolls priced the same as 64- and 96-towel rolls of regular Bounty. They can be rinsed, wrung out and reused to clean big spills, though they can't be put aside and reused after they're dry.

The rollout comes as P&G brings new production capacity online and works to reverse erosion in market share last year, when P&G was forced to put retailers on allocation.

Bounty's share of the $2.2 billion paper towel category fell to 36.4% last year, down 2 points from 1995, according to Information Resources Inc., after growing more than 2 points annually in each of the preceding three years.

P&G cut ad spending on Bounty last year and pulled the plug on consumer and trade promotion while retailers were on allocation. Overall, P&G spent $28 million on measured media for Bounty through October, about on pace with the $33 million spent in 1995, per Competitive Media Reporting.

NO TRADE BOOM

P&G won't resume consumer and trade promotion at pre-allocation levels, the spokesman said, since experience showed the brand can do with less.

Also, continuing production restraints will require more careful planning of promotions.

P&G will, however, drop coupons nationally via free-standing inserts in newspapers June 8.

AcuPOLL Precision Research, an independent concept-testing service, ranked Bounty Rinse & Reuse one of the 10 best new products of 1996, based on ratings

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