Kimberly-Clark Reconsidering Its Line of “Tribute” Toilet Paper

A sample of the "Clean Ripple" toilet paper obtained by Gish Gallop.
A sample of the “Clean Ripple” toilet paper obtained by Gish Gallop.

Neenah, WI — American “personal care” corporation Kimberly-Clark is considering removing its tribute line of toilet paper after Grateful Dead fans protested at several prominent retail and super market stores over the weekend.

The product, Cottonelleâ„¢ Clean Ripple, marketed at music fans, was designed according to Kimberly-Clark communication director Bethany Millbright as “a way to bring the synergistic forces of the counter-culture to what would seem to be an ordinary commodity.”

Cottonelle’s mascot was originally a woman. At the time, the commercials usually consisted of how soft the roll was by showing a cotton ball and comparing it to the product itself. In early 2008, Cottonelle devised an extensive advertising campaign featuring a large “Comfort Haven Bus” decorated to resemble a dog. The bus traveled cross-country to offer visitors access to “relaxation stations” where people can see first-hand—and hopefully in privacy—how soft and comforting Cottonelle can be. This latest Jerry Garcia campaign is seen as another failed attempt to gather attention to a product no one cares about.

Kimberly-Clark communication director Bethany Millbright
Kimberly-Clark communication director Bethany Millbright

According to Ms. Millbright, the famous Grateful Dead song seemed, at the time of the planning phases, a perfect match for the quietly popular brand of toilet tissue.

“There are the lyrics ‘[r]each out your hand if your cup be empty/If your cup is full may it be again.'” continued Ms. Millbright. “We reckoned it was a perfect metaphor for a clean bathroom experience. Apparently we miscalculated that connection.”

After only one week, retailers and super markets across the country have begun pulling the product from their shelves after protests broke out this week. Kimberly-Clark is also rumored to be reconsidering its “Taking Care of Business” paper towel collaboration with proto pop-rock band Bachman-Turner Overdrive.

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