Procter and Gamble is claiming a breakthrough in seeing off the common cold with a product that fights the virus before it can develop, rather than just alleviating symptoms.
Vicks First Defence is a micro gel nasal spray (rsp: £6.99 for 15ml) that supplements the body’s natural ability to prevent a cold before it develops. It should be used at the first warning signs of a cold.
The gel traps the virus at the back of the nasal passage, inactivates it and then triggers the body to create mucus that flushes the virus from the body.
P&G estimates the ‘cold defence’ category will be worth more than £20m within three years and is spending £3.5m on a marketing and PR campaign over the coming year. The product, which was successfully launched in Germany and Italy last year, has the backing of professors from Cardiff, Hull and London universities.
Last year the market for cold treatments rose by 6.8% in value [TNS 52 w/e August 15, 2004].