Clorox Cleans Out DDB Needham Chicago — Y&R, FCB Likely to Reap Lost Accounts, Add to Client’s Holdings at S.F. Offices

OAKLAND, CALIF. – The Clorox Co. said last week it is pulling the Kingsford charcoal products and Combat insecticide accounts from DDB Needham Chicago, adding some $13 million in billings to the $21.5 million that went into play less than two weeks ago.
Sources expect Combat and Kingsford to go to Young & Rubicam/S.F., which already handles about $29 million in Clorox billings from Hidden Valley Ranch Dressings, KC Masterpiece Barbeque Sauce and Fresh Step Cat Litter. The cleaning products will likely move to Foote, Cone & Belding/S.F., agency for Clorox Bleach, Tilex Soap Scum Remover, and Formula 409, with combined billings of about $35 million.
Clorox spokesperson Sandy Sullivan said the company has not yet decided where it will assign those billings. Though it’s possible the company will turn to a new agency, sources familiar with Clorox said the packaged-goods marketer has wanted to consolidate its advertising for several years and this creates a logical opportunity to do so. FCB would be a logical choice for household cleaning products since it already handles other brands in the category. FCB’s Chicago office handles Raid, so it is unlikely that Combat would go to FCB.
DDB resigned the Soft Scrub, Liquid-Plumr and Clorox Clean-Up accounts after it captured an estimated $40 million in new business from S.C. Johnson & Son’s Windex, Vanish, Drano and O-Cedar Carpet Science brands.
Initially, a Clorox spokesperson said DDB Needham would retain those ad accounts, but Clorox notified DDB in a letter last Wednesday of its decision to withdraw the remaining business.
Clorox Billings in Play (in millions)
Kingsford charcoal products $8.4
Combat 4.8
Soft Scrub 8.4
Liquid-Plumr 7.0
Clorox Clean-Up 6.1
Source: Leading National Advertisers, Inc.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)

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