Kimberly-Clark emphasizes women's health through new Kotex brand

DALLAS Kimberly-Clark has launched a new feminine care brand that hopes to redefine the personal care category.

U by Kotex includes tampons, pads and liners available in brightly colored and eye-catching designs, and focuses on the importance vaginal health through a open dialogue, Kimberly-Clark said. The company said it was prompted to launch the line after the release of "Break the Cycle: A Study on Vaginal Health," a study conducted online in August 2009 by Harris Interactive on behalf of U by Kotex, which surveyed more than 1,600 North American women ages 14 to 35 years. The study found that 7-in-10 women believe it's time for society to change how it talks about vaginal health, yet less than half (45%) feel empowered to make a difference.

"For the past 50 years, advertisers -- Kotex included -- have been perpetuating this cultural stigma by emphasizing that the best menstrual period is one that is ignored," said Andrew Meurer, VP North American group brands feminine/adult/senior care at Kimberly-Clark.  "The way the Kotex brand will be positioned in the future will be very different. Moving forward, the tone of the Kotex brand's marketing will adhere to its new tagline, 'Break the Cycle.'"

In line with the debut of U by Kotex, the brand is launching a national integrated marketing campaign that frankly addresses vaginal health. According to published reports, some of the televised advertisements, slated to premiere this week, were prohibited from using the word "vagina" on broadcast networks; yet the ads mock censorship regarding the taboos surrounding such open discussions about vaginal health.

"What we like to say is 'We're taking the category from institutional care to personal care,'" Meurer added.

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