The Road to Racine: An SC Johnson Timeline

Ad Age Traces the Marketer's Agency History

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SC Johnson's parting with DraftFCB breaks up a pairing that dated back in the early 1950s, when Foote Cone & Belding first joined the consumer products giant's roster. Here's a look at how the relationship evolved over the last half century.

Early 1950s: Foote Cone & Belding joins the SCJohnson roster alongside Needham, Louis & Brorby, Chicago. By the end of the decade, FCB is handling flagship Johnson Wax, continuing a relationship with Red Skelton on the comedian's TV show that began under Needham on radio.

1989: SCJ consolidates all U.S. accounts with FCB, Chicago, an estimated $70 million to $75 million business, thanks in part to the work of an account executive named Mark Modesto.

1996: SCJ consolidates all global advertising business with FCB. As a condition, FCB must drop its Clorox Co. accounts, based in San Francisco. DDB Needham picks up the business and buys FCB's San Francisco office, where it remains today.

1997: SCJ buys Dowbrands, adding to FCB's business, though it must divest Spray & Wash, Glass Plus , Yes and Vivid to Reckitt & Colman (now Reckitt Benckiser).

2001: Interpublic Group of Cos. acquires FCB.

2003: McCann Erickson drops from the roster of SCJ's closest global rival, Reckitt Benckiser, according to people familiar with the matter, on insistence from SCJ. FCB struggles with sibling Initiative over the handling of SCJ's account globally, as Mark Pacchini, then and now executive over the global SCJ account (and now also president-Asia Pacific at DraftFCB) throws some elbows within Interpublic on behalf of his client.

2004: Following a review of its global advertising account, Initiative keeps the U.S. SCJ business.

2004: CEO William Perez, a 34-year veteran of SCJ, leaves to succeed Phil Knight at Nike . He leaves that post less than 13 months later in early 2006. Fisk Johnson, the fifth generation of the family to lead SCJ, assumed the CEO post in 2004 and remains there today.

2005: RB re-acquires McCann relationship with acquisition of Boots Healthcare, but drops McCann again in favor of Euro RSCG, whose corporate parent Havas has no ties to SCJ.

2006: Interpublic merges Draft and FCB into DraftFCB. The combined entity keeps its SCJ business, despite Draft also handling some shopper and promotion work for rival Procter & Gamble Co.

2007-2010: SCJ comes under growing pressure from P&G in such categories as air fresheners and stain removers, as P&G steps up successful line extensions for Febreze and Tide against SCJ's Glade and Shout.

August 2010: Mark Modesto leaves FCB for undisclosed reasons after working as a key player on the SCJ business for nearly a quarter century.

December 2010: SCJ hires Richard Conti, a longtime former executive of rival Clorox and most recently an executive in private-equity firms, as chief operating officer for North America, in the wake of a broader management shakeup that saw the departure of the top executive for developing markets.

December 2010: SCJ launches global review of estimated billion-dollar advertising and marketing-services account, including creative, digital, media and shopper marketing.

July 2011: The account handled by DraftFCB is split between WPP's Ogilvy & Mather and Omnicom Group's BBDO. EnergyBBDO wins marketing and digital duties for pest control and home storage products. Ogilvy gets fragrance and home cleaning. Media planning and buying is also said to be split between Omnicom's OMG and WPP's Group M.

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