SmithKline Beecham has been forced to change the name of its new toothpaste brand.
The brand is a direct attack on Colgate Palmolive’s Colgate Total which carries an annual advertising spend of 2.9m.
SB had planned to launch the brand as Macleans Total (MW June 28), but has been forced to change the name for legal reasons.
It will now be called Macleans Total Clean following an out-of-court settlement with Colgate.
The name change will not affect next week’s launch.
A SB spokeswoman says the company has been in discussions with Colgate, which had expressed concern over the use of the word Total.
SB’s decision to launch a toothpaste which offers round-the-clock protection has been spurred by the success of Colgate Total.
Colgate Total was launched in 1993 and is market leader with an 11 per cent value share of the sector for the year ending May 1996, up from 7.9 per cent in the previous year (IRI InfoScan).
This compares with 7.5 per cent value share for SB’s Macleans Standard in the same period.
SB also produces the Aquafresh range.
A spokeswoman for Colgate Palmolive says: “We have reached an agreement (with SB) but the terms of are confidential.” She refused to comment further on the conflict between the two companies.