P&G WHIPS UP WHITEWATER AS OLD SPICE LINE EXTENSION: NEW SCENT WILL BE POSITIONED TO ATTRACT YOUNGER MEN TO BRAND

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Procter & Gamble Co. will add a new fragrance to its venerable Old Spice brand this fall.

Called Whitewater, it will arrive in stores in September, backed by a $6.3 million campaign from Saatchi & Saatchi, San Francisco.

The Whitewater effort will be Saatchi's first Old Spice work since the consolidated $25 million account was moved to the shop's San Francisco office in January, after P&G ended its relationship with Euro RSCG Tatham, Chicago. Saatchi is a major P&G agency, but most of its work for the client is done in New York or other offices around the world.

P&G declined to comment on the launch, but P&G sales representatives have been visiting retailers to tout the line extension as one designed to attract young users in the 18-to-34 age group with a scent similar to P&G's own higher-price Hugo Boss or Calvin Klein's Eternity for Men.

'FOR MEN ONLY'

The ad campaign will include 30-second TV spots, print ads and sampling. The ad tagline, "For men only fragrance," will position the scent as an alternative to unisex fragrances, such as CKOne and CKBe.

Print ads will carry scent strips and will run in magazines including Cosmopolitan, People, Rolling Stone and Sports Illustrated.

Old Spice, with $46.3 million in sales, is the second-largest men's fragrance brand in the $524.5 million U.S. segment, behind Coty's Stetson, according to 1998 data from Information Resources Inc. But its sales grew only 2.4% last year, while the segment overall rose 3.9%.

By comparison, Unilever's No. 3-ranked Brut, another older brand, saw sales rise 14.1%, to $31.8 million, and Polo/Ralph Lauren Corp.'s trendier Polo scent grew even more, 15.4%.

A GOOD MOVE

The Old Spice extension is a good move for P&G, said Ken Harris, a partner at consultancy Cannondale Associates, because the company has been treating the fragrance almost as an extension of Old Spice deodorant. He noted that P&G retreated from the mass-market fragrance counter in 1996, when it sold scents such as Navy and Le Jardin to Renaissance Cosmetics.

After that deal, P&G retained prestige fragrances under the Hugo Boss and Giorgio Beverly Hills label. Earlier this month, P&G and Groupe Clarins USA agreed to form a joint venture to market the prestige fragrances in the U.S.

Effective in January, Clarins will form a new Clarins Fragrance Group that will market Boss' Hugo and Hugo Woman fragrances and Giorgio's Red and Giorgio

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