Power Players 2009

SCJ's H. Fisk Johnson Is Ad Age's No. 23 Power Player

Marketing Teams Given Bigger Role in Product Development

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Last Year
THE POWER: SC Johnson had long been the leading innovator in home care, but increased emphasis on the business and innovation from global behemoth Procter & Gamble Co. and Reckitt Benckiser had the company on the ropes for much of this decade. Mr. Johnson, the fifth generation of Johnsons to have led the company, appears to have come into his own in his fifth year, as SCJ is streamlining its product-development process to give marketing a greater role. For a company that makes insecticides and household cleaners, it scores remarkably well in green.

THE NUMBERS: Privately held SCJ doesn't disclose sales or earnings numbers. But Information Resources Inc. data from Deutsche Bank (which excludes the air freshener category for SCJ, where the company struggled) has shown the company beating all U.S. competitors in sales growth this year. The company spent $442 million on measured media in 2008. First-half 2009 spending was $171 million, down 18.5%.

THE KEY LIEUTENANTS: David May, president-North America is a key executive seen as a "right-hand man" to Mr. Johnson and a possible CEO should he decide to return to a non-executive chairman role.

THE CHALLENGE: SC Johnson needs to focus its efforts where it can win and contain its losses. The Glade brand in the U.S. has become a punching bag for virtually all comers, particularly P&G's Febreze. Nothing SCJ has tried yet has stopped P&G and RB here, but it's been gaining.

THE AGENCIES: Interpublic's DraftFCB, Initiative and R/GA make up the bulk of SCJ's agency relationships. The DraftFCB relationship appears to be one of the tightest anywhere in the ad industry.

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