New Product Coats Surface to Slide Stains Away

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CINCINNATI ( -- Teflon coating has been used on everything from cookware to couches, but Clorox Co. may
Clorox has earmarked up to $10 million for the first round of its teflon toilet ad campaign.
have found the most novel application yet.

Clorox Toilet Bowl Cleaner with Teflon Surface Protector will hit stores later this month, backed by an $8 million to $10 million ad campaign breaking in April from Omnicom Group's DDB Worldwide, San Francisco, according to a retail executive.

Clorox did not return calls at press time.

Prevent staining
The temporary Teflon coating left behind by the liquid toilet-bowl cleaner aims to make subsequent cleanings easier by preventing stains and soiling.

Strange as it sounds, adding the coating, which is made by E.I. Du Pont de Nemours & Co., is one of many cases where toilet-product marketers are adapting ideas from other categories.

Driving category growth in recent years have been Sara Lee Corp.'s AmbiPur Liquifresh combination of continuous bowl cleaner with air freshener; shower-style everyday toilet bowl cleaners from S.C. Johnson & Son and Reckitt Benckiser; and, most recently, S.C. Johnson's Scrubbing Bubbles Fizz-Its, which effervesce like laundry detergent tablets when they hit the water.

Category sales up
Category sales rose a healthy 10.5% to $294.6 million last year, according to Information Resources Inc., whose figures don't count Wal-Mart Stores, dollar stores or club outlets. The double-digit growth was well ahead of the low-single-digit growth to slight declines in other cleaning categories.

But while other marketers are flush with success, Clorox hasn't gotten a handle on growth yet. Its toilet-cleaner sales were up only 1% last year to $44 million as it lost its No. 2 position to S.C. Johnson, whose sales surged 37.3% to $50.4 million. Reckitt lead the category with sales up 13.7% to $92.2 million.

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