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The clorox brand stands for bleach, so it's only natural the company's household cleaner competitors are looking a little faded in comparison these days.

Led by such brands as Formula 409, Pine-Sol and Clorox Clean-Up, Clorox Co. has seen its share grow from 28.7% in 1992 to 40.1% last year, picking up 3.5 points in 1996 alone, according to Information Resources Inc.

While category dollar sales declined almost 9% to $642.5 million from 1992 to 1996, Clorox's sales grew 27% to $257.6 million.

Most of its growth comes from new products and brand extensions backed by marketing support, says Glenn Savage, director of marketing, household products, who helps guide the support.

One example is the Clorox Clean-Up line of cleaners, where Clorox first extended its flagship bleach brand into all-purpose cleaners, then into such subcategories as toilet-bowl cleaners.

Mr. Savage credits DDB Needham Worldwide, San Francisco, which handles almost all Clorox's cleaning brands, with meeting challenges to "set the bar higher every year" with stronger ad campaigns.

In turn, Clorox has set the bar higher in ad spending, using savings in trade promotion to increase advertising as a percentage of sales by a full percentage point in the past year.

"The big growth drivers in this business are new products and advertising," Mr. Savage says. "To the extent we can get efficiencies in other parts of the system that are not really adding value for consumers and redeploy money into advertising and new-product introductions, that's a very good thing."

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