Colgate, Crest Unite to Crush Aquafresh
CINCINNATI, Ohio -- In a maneuver of historic proportions,
the makers of Colgate- and Crest-brand toothpastes have joined
forces to "utterly wipe out" Aquafresh, the only toothpaste
on the market with three colors.
reportedly considering the alliance for several years, the companies
finally decided to act on the same day that Aquafresh introduced
its new floss-and-toothpaste combo product -- known as "Floss
'n' Cap" -- which comes in "Cinnamon Splash" and
"Whitening Cool Mint" flavors.
However, Crest and Colgate denied
the connection, even as they refused to confirm exactly why they're
going after Aquafresh.
One Internet rumor making the
rounds describes Crest -- which had recently introduced "Crest
Whitening Expression Fresh Cinnamon Rush" -- as fearful
that its cinnamon paste couldn't compete with Aquafresh's Cinnamon
"Maybe Crest did worry it
was easier to say 'Aquafresh Cinnamon Splash' than 'Crest Whitening
Expression Fresh Cinnamon Splash," conceded industry analyst
Kevin Kraeger. "But I really doubt that led to this all-or-nothing
war between the pastes."
Some consumers seem to disagree
with Kraeger's assessment.
"d00d teh Agu@fr3$h hav
teh fre3waRez fl0sS" stated one anonymous emailer. "Kr3s7
suX0rZ, w1LL aspl0d3!"
Crest officials seemed unimpressed
with that idea.
"Yeah, free floss, that's
sooo scary. Meanwhile, we put Scratch-n-Sniff stickers on our
Cinnamon Rush boxes -- because we're all that!" said
Derrick Stanlington, vice-president of Proctor & Gamble's
Crest Division, snapping his fingers for effect.
Meanwhile, leaked internal documents
appear to outline both Colgate and Crest's motivation for declaring
toothpaste Armageddon: Apparently, both companies fear Aquafresh
will move away from its "kinda fruity" tri-color presentation
and venture into two-color or even solid-color pastes, which
long have been the domains of the two industry leaders.
Kraeger and other industry analysts
are already writing the eulogy of the toothpaste world's No.
"Aquafresh is in deep, deep
trouble," Kraeger said. "Crest and Colgate account
for over 57 percent of the toothpaste market share, while Aquafresh
only has 10.5 percent. 'Fresh is dead, man. 'Fresh is dead."
"Used to be, Aquafresh could
play Colgate and Crest against each other," reminisced Dino
Mortatelli, another analyst. "Aquafresh will never be king,
but it's definitely a kingmaker. Well, was, that is."
Shares of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK),
the parent company of Aquafresh, fell sharply from $41.94 a share
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