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(July 23, 2001) -- Colgate-Palmolive Co. today reported second-quarter net income up 9.7% to $287 million despite a slight sales decline of 0.3% to $2.3 billion, but Colgate executives said the company increased media advertising spending even as competitors cut back.

Colgate's unit volumes were up 5% in the quarter, but negative foreign currency effects erased those gains. Despite the currency impact, Colgate Chairman-CEO Reuben Mark said In a conference call with analysts that media spending was up 2% in dollars and % to 7% in local currency terms.

"We're getting sort of a double whammy from this media increase since there has been a pullback in media spending in general," said Bina Thompson, vice president of investor relations. "Therefore, our share of voice has increased."

She said Colgate is using more targeted trade promotions focused on larger retailers. She also said Colgate plans later this year to launch Colgate Motion, a new entry into the "entry level" battery-operated power toothbrush segment, priced at $5 to $6 to compete with Procter & Gamble Co.'s Crest Spinbrush.

WPP Group's Y&R Advertising, New York, is Colgate's global agency of record. -- Jack Neff

Copyright July 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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