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P&G expands ‘Future Friendly’ conservation initiative

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CINCINNATI — Procter & Gamble Co. is ramping up its "Future Friendly" environmental responsibility and consumer education program with a broader media and marketing campaign.

P&G said this week that the multibrand effort, unveiled at the 2009 Clinton Global Initiative, brings together the power of trusted brands like Tide, Pampers, PUR, Duracell and others to help consumers save water, waste and energy at home.

A full media platform, including an extensive social networking and consumer engagement component, will be deployed starting the week of March 29 to reach or exceed P&G’s original pledge of providing conservation education to at least 50 million U.S. households by the end of this year. More than 15,000 retail locations will participate in the initial phase of Future Friendly, according to P&G.

The program aims to show consumers how to use popular P&G products to achieve savings in water, waste and energy. For example, the company explained, nearly 80% of the energy used in a typical load of laundry is in heating water at the consumer’s home. By washing in cold water with a detergent formulated for that application, such as Tide Coldwater, consumers can conserve energy and reduce their utility bills. Tide Coldwater products will carry a Future Friendly seal to indicate their energy-savings capabilities.

Plans call for Future Friendly-labeled products to begin appearing on store shelves in early April. The U.S. launch of the initiative will be supported by a comprehensive marketing and public relations program, P&G said.

A television campaign is slated to begin airing nationally the week of March 29, and P&G’s April edition of its BrandSaver newspaper supplement, delivered to more than 50 million households, will feature information about and coupons for Future Friendly products.

The products included in the Future Friendly portfolio will be rolled out in two phases. Starting in April, there will be significant in-store signage and educational displays in major retailer channels, including more than 15,000 grocery and club store locations nationwide. This fall, a second wave of the program will expand its consumer and retailer reach.

The campaign will be further supplemented by a full suite of digital and social media engagement initiatives, a P&G employee communications campaign, signature event sponsorships and other programs in partnership with experts in conservation education, according to P&G.

"With Future Friendly, we’re trying to educate ‘mainstream’ consumers on how to conserve natural resources in their homes," commented Melanie Healey, P&G group president for North America. "These consumers don’t want any perceived trade-offs in performance and price. Instead, they want to purchase the brands they already know and trust and understand how using these products, and adopting other simple behavior changes within their homes, can help them lower their impact on the environment."

As part of the national launch of Future Friendly, P&G released a new national poll on consumer attitudes and behaviors regarding conservation. The study showed continued interest among most consumers to do more to preserve the environment, provided they can tap into the economic benefits of eco-friendly products, the company said.

For example, 74% of consumers surveyed said they would switch to another brand if it helped them conserve resources without having to pay more, and 69% report they would recommend the product to others.

Saving money is the top reason why consumers would take measures to reduce waste, save energy and save water in their home (cited by 64% of respondents) followed closely by preserving resources for future generations (cited by 56% of those polled).

"We see a growing environmental consciousness among mainstream consumers," stated Maurice Coffey, marketing director of Future Friendly. "Through this newly expanded brand platform, we will help remove the confusion and show consumers how simple choices can lead to meaningful results."

Future Friendly has operated as a multibrand effort in the United Kingdom and Canada since 2007. It was first introduced to U.S. consumers during a pilot in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, that launched on Earth Day in April 2009, according to P&G. The results from the pilot as well as extensive consumer research and stakeholder input helped refine and build on the program’s earlier successes in other markets, the company added.


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