P&G rolls out new fabric softener across Europe

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SCHWALBACH, Germany -- Procter & Gamble is relaunching its fabric softener Lenor through- out Europe with a new formulation that posi- tions the brand as being gentle to fabrics. P&G claims that the new product protects colors and fibers so that clothes retain their ``new'' look.

Starting in July, the new product, with the new name Lenor Care, will be on shelves in Germany and in the U.K. Several weeks later, it will be available in Spain, Belgium, Austria and Switzerland.

The launch is supported by a TV campaign handled by Grey. Also, P&G is breaking new ground with a joint promotion that involves its Ariel laundry detergent and Kodak. The promotion promises that Lenor Care will provide clothes like ``laundry in a picture book'' and consumers are given a chance to win Kodak Fun cameras.

P&G's fabric softener is marketed as Downy in the U.S. and Canada rather than Lenor. Twelve months ago, P&G introduced Downy Care in North America. P&G's European research center in Belgium contributed to the development of the new formulation.

P&G leads Germany's $280 million fabric softener market with a 40% share. Colgate Palmolive holds 18%, Lever 16% and Henkel's Vernell 12%.

Copyright May 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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