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Vellux ad heats up interest

NEW YORK -You may not want to cuddle up with this guy and his blanket-but then again you might, if you want to save on heating bills. WestPoint Stevens took an offbeat approach to the fuel price crisis with this full-page ad in a recent New York Timeshome section that also ran on the back page of the national Living Arts section.

"We asked ourselves how could we increase our visibility with the one issue people are talking about-the high cost of fuel oil," said Kathleen Cwirko, senior vp, WestPoint Stevens.

The ad played on the heating virtues of the Vellux blanket and offered the view that with this cuddly fellow, one could save $50 on a heating bill.

"The payout far exceeded our expectations," said Cwirko, who noted that calls came in from both retailers and consumers. "It was wonderful talking with customers, and we're still getting results." The company is putting the "free heat" stickers on all Vellux products, whether national brand or private-label packaging, Cwirko said.

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