The Clorox Company (formerly Clorox Chemical Co.), based in Oakland, California, is an American global manufacturer and marketer of consumer and professional products, with approximately 8,700 employees worldwide, as of June 30, 2018. Net sales in the company’s 2018 fiscal year were US$6.1 billion. Clorox ranked #468 on Fortune’s 2018 Fortune 500 list.
Clorox products are sold primarily through mass merchandisers, retail outlets, e-commerce channels, distributors and medical supply providers. Clorox brands include its namesake bleach and cleaning products, as well as Burt's Bees, Formula 409, Glad, Hidden Valley, Kingsford, Kitchen Bouquet, KC Masterpiece, Liquid-Plumr, Brita (in the Americas), Mistolin, Pine-Sol, Poett, Soy Vay, RenewLife, Rainbow Light, Natural Vitality, Neocell, Tilex, S.O.S., and Fresh Step, Scoop Away and Ever Clean pet products.
|The Clorox Company|
|Founded||May 3, 1913 (as Clorox Chemical Co.)|
(Chairman and CEO)
(lead independent director)
(Exec. Vice President)
|Revenue||US$6.1 billion (2018)|
|US$1.1 billion (2018)|
|US$$823 million (2018)|
|Total assets||US$5.1 billion (2018)|
|Total equity||US$542 million (2018)|
Number of employees
The Glad Products Company
Hidden Valley Ranch
The product and the company date back to May 3, 1913, when five entrepreneurs, Archibald Taft, a banker; Edward Hughes, a purveyor of wood and coal; Charles Husband, a bookkeeper; Rufus Myers, a lawyer; and William Hussey, a miner, invested $100 each to set up the first commercial-scale liquid bleach factory in the United States, on the east side of San Francisco Bay. The firm was first called the Electro-Alkaline Company. The name of its original bleach product, Clorox, was coined as a portmanteau of chlorine and sodium hydroxide, the two main ingredients. The original Clorox packaging featured a diamond-shaped logo, and the diamond shape has persisted in one form or another in Clorox branding to the present.
The public, however, didn't know very much about liquid bleach when Clorox bleach debuted. Although the Electro-Alkaline Company started slowly and was about to collapse quickly, it would not be until 1916 when investor William Murray took over the company as general manager. His wife, Annie Murray, prompted the creation of a less-concentrated liquid bleach for home use, she built customer demand by giving away 15-ounce sample bottles at the family's grocery store in downtown Oakland. Not long after, word began to spread and, in 1917, the Electro-Alkaline Company began shipping Clorox bleach to the East Coast via the Panama Canal.
On May 28, 1928, the company went public on the San Francisco stock exchange and changed its name to the Clorox Chemical Co. Butch, an animated Clorox liquid bleach bottle, was used in advertising and became well-known, even surviving the 1941 transition from rubber-stoppered bottles to screw-off caps.
The Clorox Chemical Company was strong enough to survive the Great Depression throughout the 1930s, achieving national distribution of Clorox bleach in the process, but during World War II, even though Clorox bleach proved useful as a first aid product for American armed forces, one of the bleach's ingredients was being rationed, as, under U.S. government orders, chlorine gas shortages forced many bleach manufacturers to reduce the concentration of sodium hypochlorite in their products, thus diluting them with water. Clorox, however, declined and elected to sell fewer units of a full-strength product, establishing a reputation for quality.
In 1957, Clorox was purchased by Procter & Gamble, which renamed its new subsidiary "The Clorox Company." Almost immediately, a rival company objected to the purchase, and it was challenged by the Federal Trade Commission, which feared it would stifle competition in the household products market. The FTC won in 1967 after a 10-year battle, in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that P&G must divest The Clorox Company, and on January 1, 1969, Clorox became independent again.
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Clorox pursued an aggressive expansion program in which it attempted to establish itself as a major diversified consumer products conglomerate, like P&G. In 1970, Clorox introduced Clorox 2 all-fabric bleach. Later on, in that period, it acquired a number of brands that remain a part of their portfolio today, including Formula 409, Liquid-Plumr, Kingsford charcoal and developed cleaning products such as Tilex instant mildew remover. It even acquired a ranch dressing that was still new to the market, which was known as "Hidden Valley."
In 1988, Clorox struck a licensing-and-distribution agreement that brought Brita water filters to the U.S. The company acquired sole control of the brand for the U.S. and Canada in 1995 when it acquired Brita International Holdings (Canada). In 2000 it secured the remaining Americas market from Brita.
In 1999, Clorox acquired First Brands, the former consumer products division of Union Carbide, in the largest transaction in its history. Such brands as Glad, Handi-Wipes (which First Brands acquired from Colgate-Palmolive several months before the Clorox acquisition) and STP became part of the Clorox portfolio. The First Brands acquisition doubled the size of the company and helped it land on the Fortune 500 for the first time the following year.
During the next decade, the company focused on consumer megatrends that included sustainability, health and wellness, multicultural, and affordability/value. In 2002, Clorox entered into a joint venture with Procter & Gamble to create food and trash bags, food wraps, and containers under the names Glad, GladWare and related trademarks. As part of this agreement, Clorox sold a 10% stake in the Glad products to P&G, which increased to 20% in 2005.
In 2007, the company acquired Burt’s Bees. The next year, it became the first U.S. marketer to develop and nationally launch a natural cleaning line, Green Works, into the mainstream cleaning aisle. In 2010, Clorox shed businesses that were no longer a good strategic fit for the company, announcing that it was selling the Armor All and STP brands to Avista Capital Partners. In 2011, Clorox acquired the Aplicare and HealthLink brands, bolstering its presence in the healthcare industry.
In 2008, The Clorox Company became the first major consumer packaged goods company to develop and nationally launch a green cleaning line, Green Works, into the mainstream cleaning aisle. In 2011, the Clorox Company integrated corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting with financial reporting. The company’s annual report for the fiscal year ending in June 2011 shared data on financial performance as well as advances in environmental, social and governance performance.
The company ranked #453 on the Fortune 500 in 2017. In 2018 Clorox purchased Nutranext Business, LLC for approximately $700 million. Florida-based Nutranext makes natural multivitamins, specialty minerals used as health aids, and supplements for hair, skin and nails. Operating income in 2018 was US$$1.1 billion. With approximately 8,700 employees worldwide as of 2018, yearly revenue for the period ending June 30, 2018, equaled $6.1 billion.
The Clorox Company currently owns a number of well-known household and professional brands across a wide variety of products, among them:
For historical reasons, and in certain markets, the company's bleach products are sold under regional brands. In 2006, Clorox acquired the Javex line of bleach products in Canada, and similar product lines in parts of Latin and South America, from Colgate-Palmolive.
|FY 2018||FY 2017||FY 2016||FY 2015||FY 2014|
|US dollars (in millions)||$6,124||$5,973||$5,761||$5,655||$5,514|
In 2011, the Clorox Company became an early adopter of a corporate trend to integrate corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting with financial reporting. The company’s annual report for the fiscal year ending in June 2011 shared data on financial performance as well as advances in environmental, social and governance performance. In 2015, the company became a signatory of the United Nations Global Compact, a large corporate responsibility initiative.
In 2012, Clorox “Bleachable Moments,” a national television ad campaign targeted to young adults, garnered silver and bronze Clio awards for DDB San Francisco, the agency that produced the ads. Another ad produced by DDB in 2012, a suggestive Liquid Plumr spot titled “Double Impact,” was named Advertising Age’s Viral Video of the Year in the :60 spot category. The company was listed at Advertising Age's 2015 Marketer A-List. The Burt’s Bees brand was ranked as one of the most authentic brands by U.S. consumers, according to Cohn & Wolfe’s fifth annual Authentic Brands report.
In 2017 the company’s Clorox brand launched an ad campaign to “establish a higher purpose for our brand,” by championing a “cleaner world where people thrive.” Also in 2017, the company’s Burt’s Bees brand announced its biggest product launch in the beauty category through the “I Am Not Synthetic” campaign.
During 2006 and 2007, a Clorox commercial that aired nationally showed several generations of women doing laundry. The commercial included the words "Your mother, your grandmother, her mother, they all did the laundry, maybe even a man or two." Feminists criticized the commercial for insinuating that doing laundry is a job for women only.
The Clorox slogan, "Mama's got the magic of Clorox," was criticized on similar grounds. The slogan first appeared in a Clorox commercial in 1986. A modified version of the commercial ran from 2002 to 2004.
In 2009, Clorox received complaints of sexism for an advertisement that featured a man's white, lipstick-stained dress shirt with the caption, "Clorox. Getting ad guys out of hot water for generations." The ad, and others, were produced expressly for the television program Mad Men, capitalizing on “the show’s unique vintage style to [create] a link between classic and modern consumer behaviors.”
In 2008, the Sierra Club endorsed the Clorox Green Works line. Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope stated that one of non-profit organization's "primary goals is to foster vibrant, healthy communities with clean water and air that are free from pollution. Products like Green Works help to achieve this goal in the home.” The Sierra Club also partnered with Clorox “to promote a line of natural cleaning products for consumers who are moving toward a greener lifestyle." The partnership "caused schisms" in the club, which contributed in part to Pope's decision to resign.
Also in 2008, the National Advertising Division told Clorox to either discontinue or modify its advertisements for Green Works on the grounds the cleaners actually do not work as well as traditional cleaners, as Clorox had claimed.
In 2009, Clorox received further criticism for its Clorox Green Works line, regarding claims the products are environmentally friendly. Several Clorox Green Works products contain ethanol, which environmental groups state is neither cost-effective nor eco-friendly. Many Green Works products also contain sodium lauryl sulfate, a known skin irritant. Women's Voices for the Earth have questioned whether or not the Clorox Green Works line is greenwashing, as Clorox's "green" products are far outnumbered by their traditional products, asking "Why sell one set of products that have hazardous ingredients and others that don't?"
Armor All is a line of car care products manufactured by American company Armored AutoGroup of Danbury, Connecticut, United States. The company markets the product line of sprays, gels, liquids. and wipes to clean, shine, and protect interior and exterior automobile surfaces.
According to patent documents, Armor All typically contains water, PDMS (silicone), diethylene glycol, glycerin, and various additional chemical compounds.Burt's Bees
Burt's Bees is an American personal care products company that markets its products internationally. The company is a subsidiary of Clorox that describes itself as an "Earth friendly, Natural Personal Care Company"
making products for personal care, health, beauty, and personal hygiene. Its products are distributed globally.Burt's Bees manufactures products with natural ingredients, using minimal processing, such as distillation/condensation, extraction/steamed distillation/pressure cooking, and hydrolysis, to maintain the purity of ingredients. In addition, every product has a "natural bar" which gives a percentage of natural ingredients in that product, often with detailed ingredient descriptions.Originating in Maine in the 1980s, the business began when co-founder Roxanne Quimby started making candles from Burt Shavitz's leftover beeswax.
This eventually led to the bottling and selling of honey by the two co-founders, a practice that slowly diminished as the company evolved as a corporation. Eventually, other products using honey and beeswax, including edible spreads and furniture polish, were sold, before a move into the personal care line. In late 2007, Clorox purchased Burt's Bees for $925
million USD.Chlorox, Ammonium and Coffee
Chlorox, Ammonia and Coffee (Norwegian: Salto, salmiakk og kaffe) is a 2004 Norwegian comedy film written and directed by Mona J. Hoel, starring Benedikte Lindbeck, Kjersti Holmen and Fares Fares. The film follows multiple storylines, and is about having the courage to take chances in life.Clorox Building
The Clorox Building is a 24-story, 100.6 m (330 ft) High-rise building in the City Center complex of downtown Oakland, California. The building was completed in 1976, and designed by Cesar Pelli when he worked with Gruen Associates now based in Los Angeles. The Oakland-based Clorox Company is headquartered in the building.Fear, uncertainty and doubt
Fear, uncertainty and doubt (often shortened to FUD) is a disinformation strategy used in sales, marketing, public relations, politics, cults, and propaganda. FUD is generally a strategy to influence perception by disseminating negative and dubious or false information and a manifestation of the appeal to fear.
While the phrase dates to at least the early 20th century, the present common usage of disinformation related to software, hardware and technology industries generally appeared in the 1970s to describe disinformation in the computer hardware industry, and has since been used more broadly.Formula 409
Formula 409 is a brand of home & Industrial cleaning products well known in North America, but virtually unknown in other countries. It includes Formula 409 All-Purpose Cleaner, Formula 409 Glass and Surface Cleaner, Formula 409 Carpet Cleaner, and many others. The brand is currently owned by Clorox.
The flagship product was invented in 1957 by Morris D. Rouff which manufactured industrial cleaning supplies. Formula 409’s original application was as a commercial solvent and degreaser for industries that struggled with particularly difficult cleaning problems.
The inventor's family claim that it was named for the birthday of the inventor's wife, Ruth, on April the 9th (rendered in the American style with the month first as "4/09"). The company, however, claims that it was named simply as the 409th compound tested by the inventors. Other theories exist as urban legends such as 409 being the telephone area code where it was invented (this area code, which served southeastern Texas, was not introduced until 1983), the birthday being that of other people such as the inventor's daughter and even a reference to a powerful Chevrolet car engine.
In 1960, Rouff sold Formula 409 to Chemsol, a New York firm, for an amount in the low six-figure range. In the mid-1960s, entrepreneur Wilson Harrell, along with longtime friend David Woodcock and television personality Art Linkletter, bought Formula 409. Harrell, Woodcock & Linkletter bought it for $30,000 and took it national. Linkletter also promoted the product in television commercials. The company eventually took Formula 409 to a 55 percent share of the spray-cleaner market, and six years later, Harrell, Woodcock & Linkletter sold the company to Clorox for $7 million.KC Masterpiece
KC Masterpiece is a barbecue sauce that is marketed by the HV Food Products Company, a subsidiary of the Clorox Company.Kingsford (charcoal)
Kingsford is a brand of charcoal used for grilling, along with related products. The brand is owned by The Clorox Company. Currently, the Kingsford Products Company remains the leading manufacturer of charcoal in the United States, with 80 percent market share. More than 1 million tons of wood scraps are converted into charcoal briquets annually.Kitchen Bouquet
Kitchen Bouquet is a browning and seasoning sauce primarily composed of caramel with vegetable flavorings. It has been used as a flavoring addition for gravies and other foods since approximately 1873. It is currently produced by the HV Food Products Company, a subsidiary of The Clorox Company.Kitchen Bouquet was manufactured in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by the Palisade Manufacturing Company of West Hoboken, New Jersey. An advertisement in a 1903 edition of The Boston Cooking School Magazine indicated that Kitchen Bouquet, then known as "Tournade's Kitchen Bouquet," had been "a favorite for 30 years." It was one of the products featured in the United States exhibit at the Paris Exposition of 1889.Its ingredients include caramel, vegetable base (water, carrots, onions, celery, parsnips, turnips, salt, parsley, spices), sodium benzoate and sulfiting agents.
Kitchen Bouquet is also used by food stylists for a variety of appearance effects, including 'coffee' made by adding a few drops to a cup of water
and lending a browned appearance to poultry.Lestoil
Lestoil is a registered trade name of Clorox for a heavy-duty multi-purpose cleanser product, used to remove extremely difficult laundry stains, dissolve water-based and oil-based paints, and clean grease, oil, paint, and adhesives from floors and surfaces.
It was introduced as a dry cleaning fluid for laundry in 1933.Liquid-Plumr
Liquid-Plumr is a chemical drain opener made of 0.5–2% sodium hydroxide and 5–10% sodium hypochlorite, and a surfactant, produced by Clorox. The product is safe for septic systems, PVC, plastic, and copper pipes, although is not recommended for and can damage rubber piping.The Liquid-Plumr products have a child-resistant closure that prevents leaking and potential harm. However, in 2016 Clorox issued a voluntary recall on products sold before March 21, 2016 due to failures with the child-resistant closure affecting about 5.4 million units with no injuries reported.OxiClean
OxiClean is a line of household cleaners, including OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover, which is a laundry additive, spot stain remover, and household cleaner marketed by Church & Dwight. It was owned by Orange Glo International until 2006.Pine-Sol
Pine-Sol is a registered trade name of Clorox for a line of household cleaning products, used to clean grease and heavy soil stains. Pine-Sol was based on pine oil when it was created in 1929 and during its rise to national popularity in the 1950s. However, as of 2016, Pine-Sol products sold in stores no longer contain pine oil as a result of profit maximization.Purex (laundry detergent)
Purex is the brand name of a popular laundry detergent in the United States, Canada and other countries. It is manufactured by Henkel Corporation. Purex is one of the most widely used laundry detergents in North America. It takes its name from its original product, Purex bleach, which was a popular competitor to Clorox bleach.RSM Plaza
RSM Plaza is a 320-foot (98 m) tall skyscraper in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Formerly known as McGladrey Plaza, it was completed in 1969 and has 20 floors. In October 2015, the building was renamed RSM Plaza after its largest tenant, RSM US LLP. It is the 30th-tallest building in the city and is located on Nicollet Mall. At the time of its completion, the building was the fifth-tallest structure in Minneapolis and the city's second-tallest post-World War II high-rise, behind Canadian Pacific Plaza. The building is skyway connected to The Metro Apartments, the Medical Arts Building and the IDS Center.The building was bought by GOLUB, an international real estate investment and development company, in December 2015. The structure has a floor area of 416,000 square feet (38,600 m2)
and an 870-space parking ramp. Major tenants of the building include McGladrey, Clorox, Colgate-Palmolive, and Portico Benefits.
RSM Plaza served as the home of the fictional WJM-TV station of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, an American sitcom that was broadcast on CBS from 1970 to 1977. The opening title sequence was filmed nearby on Nicollet Mall.Ranch dressing
Ranch dressing is a type of salad dressing made of some combination of buttermilk, salt, garlic, onion, mustard, herbs (commonly chives, parsley, and dill), and spices (commonly black pepper, paprika, and ground mustard seed), mixed into a sauce based on mayonnaise, or another oil emulsion. Sour cream and yogurt are sometimes used in addition to or as a substitute for buttermilk and mayonnaise. Ranch dressing has been the best-selling salad dressing in the United States since 1992, when it overtook Italian dressing. It is also popular in the US as a dip and flavoring for chips and other foods. In 2017, forty percent of Americans named ranch as their favorite dressing.S.O.S Soap Pad
S.O.S Soap Pad is a trade name for an abrasive cleaning pad, used for household cleaning, and made from steel wool saturated with soap.
In 1917, Irwin Cox of San Francisco, California, an aluminum pot salesman, invented a pre-soaped pad with which to clean pots. As a way of introducing himself to potential new customers, Cox made the soap encrusted steel-wool pads as a calling card. His wife named the soap pads S.O.S or "Save Our Saucepans." Cox soon found out that the S.O.S pads were a hotter product than his pots and pans.It is commonly believed that an error was made in the name's punctuation. However, this spelling was chosen by design. The acronym, S.O.S., is the famous distress signal and could not be trademarked. By removing the last period, the name was unique and could then be registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.The product was indirectly featured in a widely circulated black & white photograph taken by William Safire of the Kitchen Debate. One of its boxes is clearly visible on the right side of the picture, standing on the countertop above the washing machine.It was later bought by General Foods, then by the late 1960s was sold to Miles Laboratories. In the mid-1990s, the manufacturer began advertising that S.O.S pads had been made rust-resistant. In fact the pads were so well-protected against rust, and the pads lasted so much longer, that Miles removed the rust-inhibiting ingredients and ceased to advertise the pad's rust resistant quality. Later, Miles sold the brand to Clorox.STP (motor oil company)
STP is an American brand and trade name for automotive aftermarket products, especially lubricants such as motor oil and motor oil additives. The name began as an abbreviation of Scientifically Treated Petroleum. The brand is owned by Armored AutoGroup (also owner of the Armor All brand), which is owned by Spectrum Brands.The Glad Products Company
The Glad Products Company is an American company specializing in trash bags and plastic food storage containers.