Playtex hires Andrew W.K. to promote wipes

Playtex hires rocker Andrew W.K. as spokesman for Fresh and Sexy Wipes

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- The maker of the Playtex brand has hired an unexpected spokesman for its new "Fresh and Sexy" intimate wipes: rocker Andrew W.K.

The wipes, introduced in February, are designed for both men and women to use before and after sexual activity. The Playtex brand, owned by battery maker Energizer Holdings Inc., already markets a variety of consumer products including baby products and household gloves, but it's mostly known as a tampon brand. The new product is the latest in a wave of consumer product makers expanding feminine care brands into new categories.

Hiring Andrew W.K. — a long-haired rocker known for songs with titles like "Party Hard" from his breakout 2001 album "I Get Wet" — to promote the brand is one way to push the message that the wipes are for both men and women. He kicked off his duties hosting a "Fresh and Sexy"-themed party at the SXSW Interactive conference in Austin, Texas, on Saturday.

"We wanted to be fun and playful and bold all at the same time," says Elaine McCormick, creative director at Grey New York, which helped create the accompanying ad campaign.

The product hit store shelves on Valentine's Day and retails for $5.99 to $7.99.

Energizer and other disposable battery makers are facing a decline in demand with more reusable, cost-effective products on the market. To offset this, Energizer is undergoing a restructuring plan including job cuts and lowering overhead spending.

In its personal care division, CEO Ward Klein said in a quarterly earnings call with investors on January, the company plans to drive growth by rolling out new products throughout 2013. Other new products include razors such as Schick Hydro 5 disposable razors and the recent launch of Playtex Gentle Glide 360 tampon.

Energizer is not the only consumer product maker that has expanded feminine care lines. Kimberly-Clark in July expanded its Poise brand, which formerly only included incontinence pads, into a line of menopause products.

Shares of Energizer rose 42 cents to $94.82 in midday trading.

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