Reckitt Benckiser has launched an audacious campaign to get people to do their spring cleaning in the autumn. The household goods ­giant is launching a ­heavyweight TV and press campaign in support of its disinfectant brand, Dettol, in an attempt to reverse the 9% sales dip that typically hits the cleaners and disinfectant category in late autumn and winter.

The campaign would also promote the brand’s merits as a cleaner that could help consumers to tackle the spread of colds and flu. Bright yellow stickers will be added to disinfectant spray and wipes across the Dettol range, explaining its bacteria-killing and cold-prevention properties.

A summer campaign in the US has already generated a 10% sales uplift for Dettol and Paul Thomas, marketing director for household and personal care at RBUK, predicted the brand’s £75m UK value would exceed the 10% growth mark.

“This is the first initiative of its kind by a major cleaning brand to target consumers in the wintry months,” said Thomas. “It makes perfect sense as colds and flu viruses are at their height during this time. There is no reason why this kind of concept couldn’t have happened 20 years ago, but we expect the UK initiative to replicate the sales success seen in the US.”

Thomas described the 75-year-old brand as the right vehicle to spearhead autumn cleaning. “We are gaining expert knowledge of cold and flu prevention from sister brands Strepsils and Lemsip,” he added.

The initiative will break next week in conjunction with new research conducted by the Hygiene Council, a global body of experts supported by Reckitt Benckiser. A 30-second ad will break next week aimed at mums, Dettol’s target audience, and the new-look range will carry an introductory price promotion.

Further NPD was planned for the Dettol brand in the new year, said Thomas.