consumer packaged goods

Clorox Ups Ad Budget To Prepare For New Virus Wave

It may sound cold-hearted, but logical: Clorox Company  has supercharged its ad budget for its disinfecting products as the COVID-19 virus seems to be making another major passthrough.

“We increased our advertising spend by 30% this quarter,” Clorox CEO Linda Rendle told CNBC’s Jim Kramer earlier this week.  “We’re going to continue that investment through the rest of the year because we want to serve more people around the world. We have a unique opportunity to do that as peoples’ behaviors are changing.”

She added, “We have such a moment here for our brands where more consumers are bringing them into their homes.”



As if rehearsed, Kramer told her how he and his wife last weekend were discussing their stash of Clorox wipes. “‘Okay, another wave is coming,’” he recalled telling her. “‘Let’s stock up. We don’t have enough to handle it.’ I’m sure that [conversation] is occurring in many households in this country and around the world,  and we turn to Clorox for help.”

Rendle quickly responded, “Well Jim, I’m so glad you do, and I’m so grateful to everyone around the country who does that.”

It’s actually the third time Clorox has raised its ad budget in 2020. It increased advertising spending by 14% for the quarter that ended in March and 28% the next quarter. But this time, the increase has a kind of a canary-in-coal-mine aspect because rather than reacting to the power of the pandemic, this time Clorox is anticipating it.

Earlier this week, Clorox reported revenues of $1.92 billion, a 27% year-over-year increase for what is the company’s first quarter.

Besides its namesake disinfecting products, the company also makes Kingsford charcoal and Glad storage bags, two other brands that fared well as Americans are dining at home more often.

In fact, some of that added advertising may be spent on other Clorox brands. That’s because Clorox is again experiencing shortages like earlier in the year, when many household cleansers and other staples were gobbled up by anxious consumers.

Lysol has experienced shortages too. And Procter & Gamble’s new Microban 24 disinfectant was supposed to be a minor brand when it debuted in February. But its introduction coincided with the COVID-19 explosion and turned into a major P&G brand.

“Our absolute priority is supplying as many wipes and disinfecting products as we can,” Rendle told CNBC. “We made tremendous progress in the last nine months to deliver more, and we’re running our supply chain 24/7,”  she said, referring to “this unfortunate second wave” the nation seems to be settling into. But the company said over the summer  it expects shortages of its disinfectant wipes until 2021, though it has ramped up production of its bleach.

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