Mary Carmichael Masterfoods' decision to overhaul its Mars brand is showing signs of paying off, with the brand registering a significant sales improvement. The confectionery giant caused a stir in March when it changed its chocolate bar stalwart from a heavyweight feed to a lightweight version aimed at attracting women. It also dropped its perennial Work, Rest and Play' catchline for a new Pleasure you can't measure' slogan. But new figures from Information Resources show the gamble appears to have paid off despite an initial dip in sales. They later rose to more than £10m for the four-week period ending May 19. Last year's sales for the same period totalled £8.5m. A buyer for one of the major multiples said that indications were good but it was too early to say whether the brand would be able to counteract the general decline in the chocolate countline category. A spokeswoman for Masterfoods said the company saw initial figures as "very positive" although the long-term aim was still a profound change to create a platform for the future. The confectionery icon's rejuvenation included revamped packaging with a streamlined typeface. With female consumers the major target, the brand also got a lighter whipped nougat centre in a bid to move away from its image as a hefty, hunger-busting mouthful, and pack sizes were controversially reduced. The £7.5m relaunch programme ­ which began in April ­ included posters and press and television commercials. {{P&P }}