Brand Boost: P&G Reports Total Sales Rise 6%

Procter & Gamble, the world's largest advertiser, reiterated Thursday that it will ramp up ad spending between now and the end of June, while increased marketing support led to improved sales in its most recent quarter.

Organic global sales grew 5% in that period, which CFO Jon Moeller said on a conference call with investors was a reflection of innovations with products, but also "higher media weights."

In the U.S., brands such as Pepto-Bismol, Tampax, Vicks and Metamucil posted growth in the October-December period. But heartburn treatment Prilosec saw volume down in the 15% range in the face of the launch of Prevacid by Novartis, which was backed by a heavily funded campaign.

Total sales at P&G in the fourth quarter were up 6% to $21 billion. Earnings were down 7% to $4.7 billion.

P&G spent about $912 million domestically in measured media in the October-December quarter in 2008, according to Kantar.

In October, P&G executives said they were taking advantage of lower media rates brought on by the troubled economy to gain wider reach for similar spending levels.

P&G predicted a 4% to 6% organic sales gain in the current January-March period.



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