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Inside the Vicious Lint-Roller Ad War

Certain advertising categories are more hard-fought than others. Cellphones, cars, pizza and soda are notorious for the level of bitterness and intrigue that rivals direct toward each other in their advertising.

Now add to that list lint rollers. It turns out that competition between rival manufacturers of fluff removal devices is just as vicious as it is in the more glamorous categories. Call it the War on Lint.

Evercare recently beat back a challenge by 3M (MMM) in which the latter alleged Evercare was falsely advertsing its Evercare Lint Roller as the "#1 Selling Roller in the USA" and "America's #1 Selling Lint Roller" on TV and online. 3M markets the competing Scotch Lint Roller.

The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus (an advertising watchdog) ruled that the Evercare Lint Roller is indeed the top seller in the country. The best part of the ruling is the discussion of how close 3M came to proving its claim: Evercare had $49,907,778 in annual sales, whereas 3M had only $49,041,021. That's a difference of just $866,757, or 2 percent.

And who knew that lint rollers were a $50 million-a-year business?

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