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This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

THOMPSON MEDICAL LAUNCHING CORTIZONE FOR KIDS WITH $ 3 MIL. AD BUDGET in 1993 that includes a national free-standing insert slated for April 25. The hydrocortisone .5% product also will be supported with a 30-second television commercial beginning April 19 in 15 markets. The TV spots will premiere nationally on May 3. New York-based LCF&L is Thompson Medical's ad agency for the product. Cortizone for Kids also will be included in magazine print ads for Thompson Medical's "cortizone family" of products beginning in May. The hydrocortisone anti-itch cream, which also includes aloe vera gel, began shipping in November 1992 and arrived in retail outlets in February with a "buy one, get one free special pack" offer. Packaging heralds the product as "doctor recommended" and notes that it "relieves itches and rashes due to insect bites, poison ivy, oak, sumac and other minor skin irritations." Another recently launched Thompson Medical Product, Cortizone 10 Scalp Itch Formula, is being supported with a $ 6 mil. ad budget for the year. Promotions will include a 30-second national TV commercial to be aired within the next few months and inclusion of the product in the "cortizone family" print ads. The hydrocortisone 1% product began shipping in January and became available in stores in February in a "half price sale" special pack. Packaging bills the clear anti-itch liquid as "maximum strength" and containing the "medicine doctors recommend most for itch." Labeling also claims that Cortizone 10 Scalp Itch Formula "stops scalp itch all day [and] all night" and directs consumers to "use after shampooing or anytime. Stays on your scalp to stop itching associated with dandruff." The product is "odor free," "oil free," and "not a shampoo," packaging states. In materials to retailers, Thompson Medical points out that Cortizone 10 Scalp Itch Formula is "not used in lieu of dandruff shampoos, but in addition to shampoos resulting in more sales to the retailer." Since Cortizone 10 is "the clear leader in the anti-itch category, Cortizone 10 Scalp Itch Formula has a leading edge over the competition, [Combe's] Scalpicin," the materials say. Cortizone 10 Scalp Itch Formula comes in 1.5 ounce bottles. Rounding out Thompson Medical's new hydrocortisone offerings for 1993 is Cortizone 10 External Anal Itch Relief, also with 1% hydrocortisone. In addition to being included in the "cortizone family" print ads, the anti-itch cream has been the focus of a 15- second national TV commercial featuring the claim: "With the formula eight out of 10 doctors recommend." The product also was promoted via a March 14 national FSI. Shipped in October 1992, Cortizone 10 Anal Itch Relief arrived in stores in December with a "buy one, get one free" offer. Suggested retail price for 1 ounce of the product is $ 4.76 in drug stores and $ 4.90 in food stores. Highlighting that the product is "maximum strength" and the "strongest formula available without prescription," packaging says Cortizone 10 External Anal Itch Relief is "doctor recommended" for the "temporary relief of itching associated with minor skin irritations and rashes due to external anal itching." Packaging also notes that "contains soothing aloe" and is "non-staining," "non-greasy" and "odor- free." Materials to retailers note that Cortizone 10 External Anal Itch Relief "was introduced to compete in the hydrocortisone segment of the hemorrhoidal category." Parke-Davis' Anusol 1% and Whitehall's Preparation HC "entered this segment in the first quarter of 1992 not to relieve hemorrhoids but the itch often associated with hemorrhoids. This category reached annual sales of over $ 17 mil. in 1992," the materials estimate. The Cortizone line extensions build on the brand's leading position in the topical anti-itch market. Cortizone 10, for the 12 months through February 1993, captured 26.4% of the approximately $ 100 mil. market for OTC anti-itch topicals, according to data from Information Resources, Inc. subsidiary Towne-Oller. In addition to the new Cortizone products, Thompson Med also is entering the loperamide fray in the antidiarrheal product market with a new brand, Diar-Aid (see preceding story).

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