PURELY COTTON TRIES FOR NICHE IN TOILET-TISSUE CATEGORY

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A Florida company is out to change the fabric of the $3.2 billion toilet tissue category by rolling out the first 100% cotton brand early next year.

Linters Inc. harbors no illusions about its Purely Cotton brand elbowing out paper heavyweights Procter & Gamble Co. or Kimberly-Clark Corp. for category leadership. But the company is spending serious money by category standards-$3 million to $4 million next year-for a niche product that will be distributed in only 15 cities by the end of 1997.

P&G spent $23 million on its category-leading Charmin brand last year, while K-C and James River Corp. spent $10 million or less for their national brands.

Purely Cotton will roll into West Coast markets in the first half of 1997 and into other regions later in the year, said Willy Paterson-Brown, VP-sales and marketing.

REGIONAL BRAND

Mr. Paterson-Brown expects the premium brand to remain in regional pockets of the country long-term and be priced up to 20 cents higher per four-roll pack than other brands. Marketing will include TV and radio commercials, plus consumer and trade promotion.

Kaleidoscope Advertising & Design, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., currently handles but Linters is conducting a review (AA, Nov. 11) that includes Griffin Bacal and McCabe & Co., both New York; EvansGroup, Seattle; and media buying service CPM, Chicago.

Linters, which changed its name from Multisoft Products earlier this year, test marketed the product last year in Texas and California under the name Cotton Fluff.

Under that brand, it was rated as one of the top 10 new products of the year in consumer purchase intent in concept testing by AcuPOLL Precision Research.

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