Pringles return to Mexico

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MEXICO CITY -- Procter & Gamble is bringing its Pringles brand of potatoes chips back to Mexico, backed by a TV campaign created by Grey Mexico.

P&G's only potato chip brand, Pringles was originally introduced in Mexico in 1996, but the company experienced supply difficulties since it depended on U.S. plants.

Production has now been expanded, enabling the brand to relaunch in the country. A P&G spokesman would not provide ad spending or any details of the next stage of the campaign, however.

In addition, the company is evaluating plans for the brands it acquired with the purchase of tissue products company Loreto y Pena Pobre from Grupo Carso.

Although P&G closed on the $170 million acquisition in October, the Loreto y Pena Pobre manufacturing plant only began operating as part of P&G on April 1. Loreto y Pena Pobre's portfolio includes the Lypps and Pampys toilet tissues as well as facial tissues and table napkin brands Lunch and Cheff.

"These brands did not have any advertising backing them," says P&G Mexico spokesman Alejandro Galindo. Time was needed to get to understand the business, but P&G won't be specific about future plans for fear of alerting the competition, he says.The acquisition marked P&G's first entry into the toilet tissue category in Latin America. It already markets diapers and feminine protection pads in Mexico, where it employs about 5,000 people in its main office and five existing plants.

At the rechristening of the plant on April 1, President John Pepper announced P&G will invest $300 million in Mexico from 1998 through 2000. Over the previous three years, it has invested $387 million. "We will acquire the leadership in Mexico the same way we have in other countries," Mr. Pepper told local reporters.

Copyright April 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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