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WARNER-LAMBERT CREATING 185-REP PERSONAL CARE PRODUCT SALES FORCE FOR SCHICK, TOPICAL OTCs; TOTAL CONSUMER SALES GROUP COULD EXPAND TO 500 REPS

Executive Summary

Warner-Lambert will expand its consumer sales force to almost 500 reps in 1988 with the creation of a new group to market personal care products and certain OTCs, the company noted in a Jan. 19 presentation to securities analysts in New York City. "Hiring and training have been completed for a new 185-person force that will be known as the Personal Care Products Division," President Melvin Goodes said. "This new sales force will concentrate primarily on Schick and several other health and personal care products, including Lubriderm, Tucks, Anusol, Caladryl, Benadryl cream and spray, and e.p.t. early pregnancy test." Sales of Schick shaving products reached $ 235 mil. in 1987, an increase of about 8% over the previous year. The remaining non-prescription health care products made up about $ 114 mil., 10% of the company's OTC business. Warner-Lambert's existing 294-rep consumer health products division sales force will handle Listerine, Listermint, Efferdent, Benadryl, Sinutab, Promega and Myadec vitamins, according to Goodes. Sales of Listerine, the company's flagship OTC product, increased approximately 10% in 1987 to $ 190 mil. Goodes attributed the success to the introduction of a new 48-ounce size, increased advertising and promotion, and overall market expansion, particularly in Japan. Listerine sales could also get a boost in 1988 with the product's recent endorsement by the American Dental Association as an effective therapeutic agent against dental plaque and gingivitis. Listerine is the only OTC product currently endorsed for the claim, according to the company. Halls cough tablets together with mouthwash products, which include Listerine, Listermint and Sterisol, form the cornerstone of Warner-Lambert's OTC business, making up over $ 500 mil., or nearly 50%, of the company's $ 1.2 bil. OTC volume. Goodes noted that in 1987 the Halls brand maintained its 50% market share in the U.S. Increased advertising and promotional efforts expanded on the product's traditional emphasis to encompass sore throat and cough relief. The company's position in the U.S. cough/cold market was also strengthened by Benadryl, which in its second year as an OTC product increased its market position by more than four share points (to almost 40%) and generated sales of more than $ 60 mil. Sales of Promega, the firm's fish oil product, grew 62% in 1987 to $ 12 mil. and represented 38% of the total market. A line extension called Promega Pearls, which made the product available in a smaller, easier-to-swallow formulation, helped contribute to the volume increase, Goodes said. Chart omitted.
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