Charmin is the top-selling toilet tissue in the US, and one of Procter & Gamble's leading brands, with annual sales estimated at around $2.3bn. It is available in a number of different variants including Charmin Ultra Strong, Charmin Ultra Soft, Charmin Ultra Gentle and budget-priced Charmin Essentials one-ply. The group acquired wet wipe rival Moist Mates in 2001 and rebranded them as Charmin Freshmates, now Charmin Flushable Wipes. Combined share is around 25% in the US. The brand also lends its name to touring "Potty Palooza" trucks, which provide mobile outdoor bathrooms in the US. Between 2006 and 2010, P&G sponsored staffed temporary restrooms in New York's Times Square for the Christmas and New Year holiday season. The group continues to develop new technologies for a better bathroom experience, including odour detectors and luxury "porta-potties" for major entertainment events. The Charmin brand was gradually launched around the world from the late 1990s, rolling out in the UK and Germany as well as several other European, Asian and Latin markets. However, performance was disappointing and in 2007, P&G quit the European paper business altogether, selling local rights for Charmin (and also sister brand Bounty) to what is now Essity. Both brands were later phased out by Essity, and Charmin is again only available in North America. The product was first developed by John Hoberg & Co, a paper manufacturer established in Green Bay, Wisconsin since the 1890s. In 1928, Hoberg developed a new toilet tissue which was apparently described by one employee as "charming". Inspired by this, the company adopted the name Charmin for the product (although it was pronounced "Sharmin"). P&G bought the business in 1957 as its first step into paper products. In 1964, agency Benton & Bowles introduced fussy grocery storeowner Mr Whipple in the brand's advertising. For the next 20 years, to highlight the paper's softness, Mr Whipple advised his customers, "Please, don't squeeze the Charmin". Since 2000, though, the brand has been represented by two families of cartoon bears, with red fur for Charmin Ultra Strong, and blue for Ultra Soft. Katherine Oglesbee is brand director for Charmin.
Capsule checked 22nd September 2020
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