Oxi Clean: Cindy Heller

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After 14 years in package-goods marketing with General Mills and Quaker Oats Co., Cindy Heller has helped launch one of the hottest new consumer products of recent years. The catch is, she did it with a small family company founded on direct marketing.

Ms. Heller, 38, came to Orange Glo International in 1999 as director of marketing, joining former Quaker Oats colleague Joel Appel, son of the company's founder and now CEO of the family business. Behind direct-response TV advertising from CRTV, Seattle, primarily for its Oxi Clean oxygen-based laundry additive, Orange Glo sales were up nearly sevenfold to $87 million in 1999. While Oxi Clean was launched in 1993, the company didn't begin direct marketing efforts till 1998.

With national distribution still growing, Oxi Clean tallied sales of $22.4 million just in food, drug and mass-merchandise outlets for the 52 weeks ended June 17, compared to about $16 million for the company's other brands, according to Information Resources Inc.

Even as it expands into mass retail, Oxi Clean is sticking with direct-response TV.

"We've gone out and done very different advertising that's really demonstration selling," Ms. Heller says. "We've really become a friend to people in their homes."

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