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TROJAN PLANS PRIME-TIME CONDOM ADS

New CEO Wants Health-Oriented TV Creative to 'Shock' Non-Condom Users

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CINCINNATI (Adage.com) -- Church & Dwight Co. plans to get ads for Trojan condoms on prime-time TV within a month, moving beyond the late-night stable where the brand long has been confined in the U.S.
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But CEO James Craigie today dialed back some of his ambitions from February, when he told analysts the brand’s new campaign would be appropriate for “all day parts.” In a conference call today he said he expects ads in the new health-oriented campaign to air after 9 p.m. and said the company remains in discussions with networks. Prime-time hours are between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.

Network TV response
Spokespeople for broadcast networks could not immediately reach executives for comment, but the CBS and ABC networks said in February they were considering running the new Trojan ads in times other than late-night.

A spokeswoman for Fox said she was uncertain whether the network has reviewed the ads yet but noted that the network doesn't have programming after 10 p.m. and that condom ads of any kind would not run during American Idol. But she said the network does consider condom ads on a case-by-case basis.

The push for prime-time is one of a host of changes Mr. Craigie, named CEO last year, has brought to Church & Dwight advertising, including naming Publicis Groupe’s Kaplan Thaler Groupe, New York, as creative agency for Trojan in March.

Media buying and planning
Church & Dwight also named WPP Group’s Maxus, New York, as planning and buying agency in April, after dispatching longtime media shop R.J. Palmer, an independent, and briefly naming Frontier Communications, a spin-off of Interpublic Group of Cos.’ Universal McCann, to the $80 million account.

Consumers in qualitative testing have been “extremely positive” about the new Trojan ads, which now are in quantitative copy testing, Mr. Craigie said.

'Trying to shock' consumers
“It’s a very eye-catching campaign that will hopefully ... change people’s perceptions about the health risks they’re taking on unprotected sex,” he said. “We’re trying to shock them and shake their confidence in that fact that they don’t think they’re taking risks.”

The Trojan effort is one of six new campaigns Church & Dwight is breaking this quarter, including campaigns for new products in the Nair, Arm & Hammer and Mentadent brands and a relaunch of Arrid deodorant. Mr. Craigie said the company would step up its marketing spending starting next quarter, though he did not specify by how much, as he said Maxus is conducting an extensive planning review to maximize return on investment for each of the company’s brands.

Other agencies
Besides Kaplan Thaler, Church & Dwight works with several smaller independent ad agencies and promotion shops, including Joey Co., New York; Ferrara & Co., Princeton, N.J.; and Colangelo Synergy Marketing, Darien, Conn. The marketer disbanded its in-house agency late last year.

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