By  on April 15, 1994

NEW YORK -- After taking his hair care line out of the department store market, where it flourished in the mid-Eighties, Philip Kingsley is moving to a new venue -- television.

Kingsley has teamed up with Infomercial Retail Management, which produced the Norma Kamali beauty infomercial, to create a show for his Precisely Focused Care hair products.

The infomercial will begin to air "by the end of this month," said Roy Benjamin, a partner in IRM. He said specific dates had not yet been confirmed.

"We'll test it in eight to 12 markets in April and May," he said. "That way, we can make some adjustments, if they're needed, before we roll it out to the rest of the country."

Benjamin said the infomercial will air by the end of this year in "every major market" in the U.S. After that, he said, the products will be introduced into mass market retail outlets.

Also appearing in the half-hour spots will be Carlotta Jacobson, formerly of Harper's Bazaar, and novelist Pat Booth. They will offer testimony on the efficacy of the hair products.

"It's meant to be a talk-show format," said Kingsley. "We want to be informational, but we don't want people to get bored and turn away."

Kingsley and Benjamin declined to discuss a production budget, but sources estimate the initial creation of the infomercial, before the purchasing of air time, cost around $400,000.

Viewers will be able to call a toll-free number, and operators will then question them to determine what products from the line fit their individual hair types.

"It's not just 'dry, normal and oily,"' said Kingsley of the Focused Care line. "I don't think those are realistic categories -- hair can be oily at the roots and dry at the tips."

He said the operators will attempt to fit customers into categories like frizzy, coarse or curly, and then recommend a regimen to fit.

First-time callers will be introduced to the line through a six-item starter kit, which Benjamin said will "most likely" be around $49.95. The products have a retail value of more than $100, he said.

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