The pope may be Catholic, but it seems bears no longer head into the woods to do their business or at last the Charmin bear doesn't. SCA is replacing it with a koala in a £10m overhaul that will also see the toilet paper rebranded as Cushelle.

The Cushelle-branded packs will roll out from the second week of February and the packaging will feature a 'formerly Charmin' and 'same great product, brand new name' message. The Charmin flash must be removed in the next 12 months.

The on-pack koala character, which is being introduced to improve shelf standout, will also be embossed on to the tissue paper and feature in the accompanying support.

The £10m marketing campaign is due to kick off in March and will include television, cinema and print advertising.

SCA agreed to rename the brand when it acquired it from Procter & Gamble in 2007. The move comes 12 months after SCA renamed its Bounty kitchen towel brand Plenty as part of the same deal.

It has been a tough year for Charmin, which recorded a 6.3% sales slump to £51.3m [Nielsen 52 w/e 3 October 2009].

The new name and hefty media campaign would revive sales, predicted brand marketing controller Emma Heald. She cited sales data that indicated last year's £8m Bounty rebrand prompted its market penetration to grow from 26.5% [TNS 52w/e 22 February 2009] to 34.7% (TNS 52w/e 8 September 2009).

"We have invested more in marketing Charmin's rebranding than Bounty's as the £1bn toilet paper market is bigger than the £330m kitchen towel market," said Heald. "Cushelle will have a big competitor in Andrex so will need the extra investment.

"Charmin has suffered from not shouting about its point of difference as we have waited for this new activity. It will be returning to TV screens for the first time in two years, which is a long absence for an fmcg brand."

Heald added that Charmin's standard range had been selling better than its coloured and scented SKUs, which had "suffered in distribution".