Toothpastes to be relaunched as GSK counters Colgate-Palmolive

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is to relaunch its Macleans, Aquafresh and Sensodyne oral care brands during the next 12 months in order to defend against an aggressive push by Colgate-Palmolive’s rival range.

Sensitive teeth brand Sensodyne will be the first to be rejigged in the wake of the launch of Colgate Sensitive last month (MW April 9). A source says the brand will be reformulated with a more pleasant taste in order to compete against Colgate Sensitive, which is seen as having a superior flavour.

Sensodyne will be relaunched with updated packaging and a multi-million pound advertising push before the end of the year. Grey Worldwide handles advertising for Sensodyne, with media buying by MediaCom.

Further changes to GSK’s oral care portfolio are expected in the new year, with relaunches for Macleans and Aquafresh. An industry insider says: “There will be major developments in GSK’s oral care business up to 2005. GSK is facing stiffer competition from Colgate so it has decided it is time to do something exciting.”

Grey Worldwide also handles creative for Aquafresh, but GSK shifted the &£4m Macleans account to Ogilvy & Mather in 2001.

The next addition to Aquafresh will be a range of children’s toothbrushes with interchangeable handles featuring animals, shapes and cartoon characters. A source says: “The plan is that children will want to swap them around as they do mobile phone covers.”

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