Clorox Starts Agency Review That Could Consolidate Lead, Digital Duties

Comes Amid Top-Line Success and Rapid Shift to Digital Spending

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Clorox Co. is reviewing its creative agencies, a spokesman said Monday.

Despite being on a roll that has seen its top line and stock performance besting most of its industry, the company has been shifting into digital media faster than most of its peers. Clorox expects to spend more than 40% of its global media budget on digital in the current fiscal year, which began July 1. Clorox spent $523 million on advertising worldwide last year.

Omnicom's DDB, San Francisco, leads a roster that includes sibling Critical Mass, WPP's AKQA on digital and Raleigh, N.C.-based Baldwin& on Burt's Bees. DDB and Baldwin& are defending.

The move comes despite a strong run for the company under CEO Benno Dorer and CMO Eric Reynolds, which has included 5% organic sales growth last fiscal year and 6% growth last quarter. Brands include Clorox household products, Hidden Valley, Burt's Bees, Brita, Kingsford Charcoal and more. The company was honored as part of Advertising Age's Marketer A-List for 2015.

The agency review for "lead creative partner or partners" should be complete by the spring, said spokesman David Kellis. The end result could be a single agency handling all brands, including lead creative and digital duties or dividing duties up.

"We're certainly looking at both models, including a lead creative partner that would also cover digital and social," he said. "It just depends on which agency comes forward with the best ideas an approach."

The review wasn't prompted by performance but by "a need to look at different approaches, and to ensure we're positioned for the marketing transformation and digital transformation in the future," he said.