SC Johnson and Reckitt Benckiser set for clash over launches of rival air fresheners

Household goods rivals SC Johnson and Reckitt Benckiser are to clash head on with the launch of similar air-freshener lines later this year. Both are expected to be backed by &£3m advertising campaigns. The two products will use a “time-release” technology, which will dispense a measured puff of fragrance every few seconds.

Reckitt Benckiser’s Airwick Home Fragrencer will contain a microchip that ensures a consistent release of fragrance, which is adjustable to control how much fragrance is released. SC Johnson, meanwhile, will launch an air-freshener line under its Glade Wisp brand that also offers a time-release mechanism, but the difference will be that it will include a time-adjustable system rather than a timer to control fragrance bursts.

The two companies have a history of launching similar products at the same time. Earlier this year, Reckitt Benckiser launched a toilet brush under the Harpic brand called Ready Brush at the same time as SC Johnson introduced its own next-generation toilet brush under its Toilet Duck brand (MW February 19).

However, there will be a new competitor in the air-freshener market from next year as Procter & Gamble is planning to extend its Febreze fabric conditioning brand into the sector (MW August 19). SC Johnson is already working on its response, with plans for an “air sanitising” brand in the UK called Oust (MW July 15).

Last week, SC Johnson consolidated its global &£200m media buying and planning account into Interpublic Group, ditching Publicis-owned Zenith Optimedia from its roster (MW last week).

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