We Hear: Almost Every Major Agency in San Francisco Is Pitching Clorox

By Patrick Coffee 

Two months ago we learned that Clorox would be launching a full review of its advertising business.

This was a big deal because the account has been with DDB since 1996 and the client spent more than $500 million on global media last year, the majority of it in North America. Next year’s total will almost certainly be bigger: the company’s stock hit a record high in December, and it aims to both continue growing and defend its nearly untouchable status in the consumer goods sector.

Clorox also hinted at the time that it would be open to either sticking with the “many agency partners” model (it has recently worked with AKQA and Critical Mass on digital and North Carolina’s Baldwin& for creative on its Burt’s Bees brand) or sending all of its business to one shop.

When news of the review first broke, we learned that both DDB and Baldwin& would be defending their portions of the account. Today we hear that DDB’s leadership is focused on San Francisco and that several other area shops are also involved in the creative pitch, including:

  • Goodby, Silverstein & Partners
  • FCB West
  • Venables Bell & Partners

FCB has been in growth mode on the West Coast, and sources tell us that the IPG shop reached outside its own network to find a creative leader for the pitch. VB&P aims to continue a 2015 win streak that included Celebrity Cruises, Adidas Golf, Blue Moon, PlayStation Vue and REI, and GS&P could add another big client on top of Comcast, which has been promoting its interactive home theater products in campaigns tied to The Oscars and related cultural events.

Clorox has not provided an estimated time frame for the review, telling us in December that “we are still in the initial stages of our review so we’re not providing much detail at this time.” But we hear that the agencies involved are still working on the planning portion of the pitch, so the decision could be several months away.