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Management Side
The Final Word by Chuck Swann
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Newsprint went down the tube, kraft sack paper went into the dumper, printing-writing grades are on the skids-- so, among consumer paper products, what's left to fight about? And where's the fight going to be? In the kitchen, maybe, about paper towels; and in the bathroom, certainly, about toilet tissue.

The latest bathroom-related tussle arose when Kimberly-Clark took issue with some of Procter & Gamble's advertising claims for P&G's Charmin brand toilet paper. K-C said that it just was not so that consumers would use up to four times less toilet paper with Charmin instead of K-C's Scott brand. Also disputed, according to Business Journals, were P&G's advertising claims such as, "With more 'gos' in every roll, Charmin Ultra Mega Roll equals mega value" and "lasts longer than even the leading thousand-sheet brand."

K-C said the ads were false and misleading because people could read the ads to mean that people could use just one-fourth as much Charmin as they would of Scott 1000.

K-C cited a study that measured how many sheets of Scott 1000 toilet paper people used compared with sheets used from Charmin Ultra Soft and Charmin Ultra Strong rolls. The research showed that for every sheet of the two Charmin brands, consumers actually used only 2 ½ sheets of Scott 1000. In addition to shooting down the P&G four-times-less claim, K-C pointed out that because the Scott 1000 brand has 1,000 sheets per roll and the two Charmin brands have only 328 and 300 sheets per roll, the Scott rolls actually outlast the Charmin brands. K-C also noted that P&G had shortened its sheet lengths 1 centimeter, of 9.0% in 2014.

The result of the set-to: P&G backed off its advertising claims and agreed to revise them. The moral of the story: no matter how catchy the claims your advertising department devises, you had better be dead certain you can support them.

Chuck Swann is the senior editor of Paperitalo Publications. He can be reached by email at chuck.swann@taii.com.


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