Velvet is ditching the ‘baby MD’ character from its from adverts, as it looks to reposition as an ‘ethical luxury’.

Brand owner SCA said the move followed a “huge in-depth strategic review” over the past 18 months.

“Part of our differentiation will stem from the fact that we’re not using a baby, bear or puppy,” said Richard Nall, regional marketing director UK and ROI. “It has been a strong strategy for the brand but baby MD has grown up. Our story is much deeper than sustainability and softness.”

Velvet toilet tissue value sales have grown 12.7% over the last year [IRI 52 w/e 13 Aug 2011]. Revamped Velvet products are rolling out now with excessive communication stripped out and softer colouring used on-pack. Pricing is unchanged.

A new TV ad debuted over the weekend as part of a £10.5m marketing investment over the next year.

“We’re starting to see a reframing of the category going on,” said Nall. “As a challenger brand, we’re getting consumers to question their purchase decisions and bringing a new idea and concept to the top of consumers’ minds in this category.”