Friday, March 5, 2004

P&G deal launches products for boys



By Cliff Peale
The Cincinnati Enquirer

If your 12-year-old son has gone too long without washing his hair, Karen Frank, Jim Mock and Ann McBrien want your business.

The three former Procter & Gamble Co. executives are licensing from P&G a line of shampoo, deodorant and other grooming products for boys.

Called OT, the line plays on sports themes and features bright yellow packaging and black sports grips. The products will be on shelves this month in Target stores nationally and Meijer stores in the Midwest.

Frank and McBrien say the market is $2 billion a year and growing. The average boy age 9-16 uses up to $100 a year in personal care products, they say.

"Most of the time they think about what Dad is using," said McBrien, who left P&G in September 2001 after 20 years. "OT really offers an opportunity to get the boys something they're proud of."

For the owners of OT OverTime LLC, the new line taps into a market with little direct competition.

"There is a gap," said Greg Livingston of WonderGroup, a downtown marketing firm focused on children and families. "There are the personal-care lines that are really for (younger) kids, then the personal-care lines these kids probably are using, which really are older-focused."

For P&G, it's another in a line of licensing deals that get P&G research on the market, even if it's not sold by P&G. Procter will continue to own the brand and share revenue with the new company.

Last year P&G made more than 140 licensing deals. It's focusing on bigger brands, such as Old Spice, which it has repositioned to appeal to men in their upper teens and 20s.

The OT line includes "Head to Head" shampoo, "Body Slam" body wash and "Pit Defense" deodorant.

"That's part of the fun of this," said Frank, who worked on early stages of OT after she left P&G in 1998. "The boys really developed it. No mom is going to come up with the name Pit Defense."

E-mail cpeale@enquirer.com




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