Colgate Palmolive Is Really Cleaning Up In Poland

Wojtek Krol is used to ornery characters. As Colgate-Palmolive Co.'s top salesman in Poland, Krol, 30, wrangles daily with hostile ex-communists and grouchy sales clerks, all to sell Colgate toothpaste and Ajax cleanser in a land adapting pell-mell to capitalism. At a dingy, state-owned grocery store, or sklep, in Warsaw, a saleswoman glowers and turns her back brusquely on Krol when he walks in. "I have a problem with this lady," he tells a companion. Then, he grins and asks her how the toothpaste is selling. Krol has been working since May on getting better shelf space, but he rubbed this clerk the wrong way on an earlier visit. Now, he is pouring on the charm to get her to move a large spider plant that's blocking the Ajax, languishing on the bottom shelf.

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