Brawny Disputes Bounty’s Ad Claims

ATLANTA Procter & Gamble’s “Lock in Spills” campaign for Bounty is under attack from rival paper towel producer Georgia-Pacific.

In a lawsuit filed Sept. 30, the Atlanta-based company is claiming that P&G has practiced false advertising, and deceptive and unfair business practices.

According to the suit, in the Bounty ads from Publicis in New York, a comparison test with G-P’s Brawny “states and implies that Bounty will not drip, and that Georgia-Pacific’s Brawny, noted as the “next leading brand,” will drip when used to clean up spills.

In the spot, which broke in June, a 30 ML, or one-ounce spill is wiped up efficiently by a Bounty paper towel folded twice, which according to the suit enhances the absorbency as compared to a single, unfolded sheet.

G-P’s complaint reads: “What P&G does not reveal in its advertising is that with a slightly larger spill, more than 31 ML, Bounty may drip. Similarly, P&G does not reveal that with a slightly smaller spill, as much as 26 ML, the Brawny towel may not drip.”

The overall effect, according to G-P, misleads the public about the absorption-retention properties of both brands.

Spending for Cincinnati-based Bounty paper towels was $56 million in 2002 and $40 million between January and July of 2003, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. G-P, which also makes Sparkle and Mardi Gras paper towels, spent $20 million in 2002 and $10 million between January and July this year, also according to NMP.

Fallon in Minneapolis handles Brawny advertising. A new campaign is expected next year. G-P representatives could not say whether new advertising would challenge P&G’s claims.