Category Archives: Company

Singer Corporation

Singer Corporation is an American manufacturer of sewing machines, first established as I. M. Singer & Co. in 1851 by Isaac Merritt Singer with New York lawyer Edward Clark. Best known for its sewing machines, it was renamed Singer Manufacturing Company in 1865, then The Singer Company in 1963. It is based in La Vergne, Tennessee near Nashville. Its first large factory for mass production was built in Elizabeth, New Jersey in 1863.[1]

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The company[edit]

Old Singer logo

A Singer 1851 sewing machine

Singer’s original design, which was the first practical sewing machine for general domestic use, incorporated the basic eye-pointed needle and lock stitch developed by Elias Howe, who won a patent-infringement suit against Singer in 1854.

Patent No. 8294, of August 12, 1851, introduced one of the most useful machines, and one of the most remarkable men, that have figured in the development of the sewing machine. Isaac Merritt Singer, strolling player, theater manager, inventor, and millionaire, brought into the business a new machine and novel methods of exploitation, which gave a powerful impulse to the youthful industry. The Singer improvements met the demand of the tailoring, and leather industries for a heavier and more powerful machine.[2]

Singer consolidated enough patents in the field to enable him to engage in mass production, and by 1860 his company was the largest manufacturer of sewing machines in the world. In 1885 Singer produced its first “vibrating shuttle” sewing machine, an improvement over contemporary transverse shuttle designs; (see bobbin drivers). Singer began to market its machines internationally in 1855 and won first prize at the Paris World’s Fair. The company demonstrated the first workable electric sewing machine at the Philadelphia electric exhibition in 1885 and began mass-producing domestic electric machines in 1910. Singer was also a marketing innovator and was a pioneer in promoting the use of installment payment plans.

Early sales figures[edit]

Source:[3]

Year 1853 1859 1867 1871 1873 1878
Units 810 10,953 43,053 181,260 232,444 262,316

By 1876, Singer was claiming cumulative sales of 2 million machines and displaying the 2 millionth in Philadelphia.[4]

Singer in Scotland[edit]

Workers leaving Singer Sewing Machine Factory on Clydebank

In 1867 the Singer Company decided that the demand for their sewing machines in the UK was sufficiently high to open a local factory in John Street. Glasgow was selected for its iron making industries, cheap labour and possibly because at the time the General Manager of the US Singer Sewing Machine Company was George McKenzie, who was of Scottish descent. Demand for sewing machines outstripped production at the new plant and by 1873 a new larger factory was completed in James Street, Bridgeton. By now Singer employed over 2,000 people in Scotland but still they could not produce enough machines.

In 1882 George McKenzie, President-elect of the Singer Sewing Machine Company, undertook the ground breaking ceremony on 46 acres of farmland at Kilbowie, Clydebank. Originally two main buildings were constructed, each 800-foot (240 m) long, 50-foot (15 m) wide and 3 storeys high. These were connected by three wings. Built above the middle wing was a huge 200-foot (61 m) tall clock tower with the ‘Singer’ name clearly displayed for all to see for miles around. 2.75 miles (4.43 km) of railway lines were laid through the factory to connect the different departments such as the boiler room, foundry and shipping and to lines to main railway stations. Sir Robert McAlpine was the building contractor and the factory was designed to be fire proof with water sprinklers, making it the most modern factory in Europe at that time.[5]

With nearly a million square feet of space and almost 7,000 employees it was possible to produce on average 13,000 machines a week, making it the largest sewing machine factory in the world. The Clydebank factory was so productive that in 1905 the US Singer Company set up the Singer Manufacturing Company Ltd. as a UK registered company. Demand continued to exceed production, so each building was extended upwards to 6 storeys high.

In the First World War, sewing machine production gave way to munitions. The Singer Clydebank factory received over 5000 government contracts, and made 303 million artillery shells, shell components, fuses, and aeroplane parts, as well as grenades, rifle parts, and 361,000 horseshoes. Its labour force of 14,000 was about 70% female at war’s end.[6]

From its opening in 1884 until 1943 the Kilbowie factory produced approximately 36,000,000 sewing machines. Singer was the world leader and sold more machines than all the other makers added together. In 1913 the factory shipped 1.3 million machines. The late 1950s and 1960s saw a period of significant change at the Clydebank factory. In 1958 Singer reduced production at their main American plant and transferred 40% of this production to the Clydebank factory in a bid to reduce costs. Between 1961 and 1964 the Clydebank factory underwent a £4 million modernisation programme which saw the Clydebank factory cease the production of cast iron machines and focus on the production of aluminium machines for western markets. As part of this modernisation programme the famous Singer Clock was demolished in 1963. At the height of its productiveness in the mid 1960s Singer employed over 16,000 workers but by the end of that decade compulsory redundancies were taking place and 10 years later the workforce was down to 5,000. Financial problems and lack of orders forced the world’s largest sewing machine factory to close in June 1980, bringing to an end over 100 years of sewing machine production in Scotland. The complex of buildings was demolished in 1998.[7]

World War II[edit]

Painted Singer Sewing sign in Kingston, NY

A Singer sewing machine with electric retrofit

During World War II, the company suspended sewing machine production to take on government contracts for weapons manufacturing. Factories in the US supplied the American forces with Norden bomb sights and M1 Carbine rifle receivers, while factories in Germany provided their armed forces with weapons.[8]

In 1939, the company was given a production study by the government to draw plans and develop standard raw material sizes for building M1911A1 pistols. The following April 17, Singer was given an educational order of 500 units with serial numbers S800001 – S800500. The educational order was a program set up by the US Ordnance Board to teach companies without gun-making experience to manufacture weapons.

After the 500 units were delivered to the government, the management decided to produce artillery and bomb sights. The pistol tooling and manufacturing machines were transferred to Remington Rand whilst some went to the Ithaca Gun Company. Original Singer pistols are collectable, and in excellent condition sell for $25,000 to $60,000 with the highest paid $80,000 at auction in 2002.[9]

Marketing[edit]

The Singer sewing machine was the first complex standardized technology to be mass marketed. It was not the first sewing machine, and its patent in 1851 led to a patent battle with Elias Howe, inventor of the lockstitch machine. This eventually resulted in a patent sharing accord among the major firms.[10] Marketing strategies included focusing on the manufacturing industry,[11] gender identity,[12] credit plans,[13] and “hire purchases.”[10]

Singer’s marketing emphasized the role of women and their relationship to the home, evoking ideals of virtue, modesty, and diligence.[14] Though the sewing machine represented liberation from arduous hand sewing, it chiefly benefited those sewing for their families and themselves. Tradespeople relying on sewing as a livelihood still suffered from poor wages, which dropped further in response to the time savings gained by machine sewing.[10]Singer offered credit purchases and rent-to-own arrangements, allowing people to rent a machine with the rental payments applied to the eventual purchase of the machine,[10] and sold globally through the use of direct-sales door-to-door canvassers to demonstrate and sell the machines.[15]

Diversification[edit]

Singer in Malta

In the 1960s the company diversified, acquiring the Friden calculator company in 1965, Packard Bell Electronics in 1966 and General Precision Equipment Corporation in 1968. GPE included Librascope, The Kearfott Company, Inc, and Link Flight Simulation. In the 1968 also Singer bought out GPS Systems and added it to the Link Simulations Systems Division (LSSD). This unit produced nuclear power plant control center simulators in Silver Spring, MD; while flight simulators were produced in Binghamton, New York.

In 1987, corporate raider, Paul Bilzerian, made a “greenmail” run at Singer, and ended up owning the company when no “White Knight” rescuer appeared. To recover his money, Bilzerian sold off parts of the company. Kearfott was split, the Kearfott Guidance & Navigation Corporation was sold to the Astronautics Corporation of America in 1988 and the Electronic Systems Division was purchased by GEC-Marconi in 1990, renamed GEC-Marconi Electronic Systems (and later incorporated into BAE Systems). The Sewing Machine Division was sold in 1989 to Semi-Tech Microelectronics, a publicly traded Toronto-based company.[16]

For several years in the 1970s, Singer set up a national sales force for CAT phototypesetting machines (of UNIX troff fame) made by another Massachusetts company, Graphic Systems Inc.[17] This division was purchased by Wang Laboratories in 1978.

21st century[edit]

The Singer Corporation produces a range of consumer products, including electronic sewing machines. It is now part of SVP Worldwide, which also owns the Pfaff and Husqvarna Viking brands, which is in turn owned by Kohlberg & Company, which bought Singer in 2004. Its main competitors are Brother Industries, Janome, Aisin Seiki—a Toyota Group company that manufactures Toyota, Necchi and E&R Classic Sewing Machines and Juki.

Singer Buildings[edit]

Singer was heavily involved in Manhattan real estate in the 1800s through Edward Clark, a founder of the company. Clark had built The Dakota apartments and other Manhattan buildings in the 1880s. In 1900, the Singer company retained Ernest Flagg to build a 12-story loft building at Broadway and Prince Street in Lower Manhattan. The building is now considered architecturally notable, and has been restored.[18]

The 47-story Singer Building, completed in 1908, was also designed by Flagg, who designed two landmark residences for Bourne. Constructed during Bourne’s tenure, the Singer Building (demolished in 1968) was then the tallest building in the world and was the tallest building to be intentionally demolished until the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center were destroyed in the September 11 attacks.[19]

At their Clydebank Scotland factory Singer built a 200 ft clock tower which stood over the central wing and had the reputation of being the largest four-faced clock in the world. Each face weighed five tons and it took four men fifteen minutes twice a week to keep it wound.[20] Singer railway station, built to serve the factory, is still in existence to this day.

The famous Singer House, designed by architect Pavel Suzor, was built in 1902–1904 at Nevsky Prospekt in Saint Petersburg for headquarters of the Russian branch of the company. This modern style building (situated just opposite to the Kazan Cathedral) is officially recognized as an object of Russian historical-cultural heritage.

List of company presidents[edit]

Four best selling domestic Singer sewing machines[edit]

Hamilton Beach

Hamilton Beach Brands, Inc. is an American manufacturer of home appliances and commercial restaurant equipment marketed primarily in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, including blenders, mixers, toasters, slow cookers, clothes irons, and air purifiers.

Until sometime in the 1980s the company’s products were marketed under the brand name “Hamilton Beach Scovill”, reflecting a merger that occurred in the 1940s. In 1990, the company merged with Proctor Silex, another household appliance manufacturer. Key market competitors include Cuisinart, Black & Decker, Salton, De’Longhi, and Sunbeam.

History[edit]

Founded in April 1910 by inventor Frederick J. Osius in Racine, Wisconsin, the Hamilton Beach Manufacturing Company took its name from two men Osius hired, Louis Hamilton and Chester Beach. He hired Hamilton as the new company’s advertising manager, and Beach to work as a mechanic. Osius did not care for his own name, so he paid Hamilton and Beach $1000 each for the right to use their names instead. The company mostly sold products that Osius had invented and patented, but Chester Beach had invented a high-speed fractional motor in 1905, which the company used in many of its products. Osius designed the agitator implement for the company’s first drink mixer, the Cyclone, introduced in 1911. Hamilton and Beach left the company in 1913 to form their own firm, Wisconsin Electric Company. Osius sold Hamilton-Beach to Scovill Manufacturing in 1922 and moved to Millionaires’ Row in Miami Beach.[2] The Hamilton Beach drink mixer, with its characteristic spindle and metal container, was found at soda fountains of drug stores throughout North America. Other products included stand mixers (for making batter), fans, and hair dryers. The spindle drink mixer was expanded in the 1930s to enable multiple milk shakes to be processed at once. The original company continues as the Hamilton Beach side of Hamilton Beach Brands, Inc. As of 2012, all of Hamilton Beach’s appliances are manufactured by contract manufactures in China.[3]

Procter & Gamble Co

Procter & Gamble Co., also known as P&G, is an American multinational consumer goods company headquartered in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio, United States, founded by William Procter and James Gamble, both from the United Kingdom,[2] Its products include cleaning agents and personal care products. Before the sale of Pringles to the Kellogg Company, its product line included foods and beverages.[3]

In 2014, P&G recorded $83.1 billion in sales. On August 1, 2014, P&G announced it was streamlining the company, dropping around 100 brands and concentrating on the remaining 65 brands,[4] which produced 95% of the company’s profits. A.G. Lafley, the company’s chairman, president, and CEO until October 31, 2015, said the future P&G would be “a much simpler, much less complex company of leading brands that’s easier to manage and operate”.[5]

David Taylor became P&G CEO and president effective November 1, 2015.

History[edit]

Origins[edit]

Candlemaker William Procter and soapmaker James Gamble, both born in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, emigrated from England and Ireland, respectively. They settled in Cincinnati initially and met when they married sisters, Olivia and Elizabeth Norris.[6] Alexander Norris, their father-in-law, called a meeting in which he persuaded his new sons-in-law to become business partners. On October 31, 1837, as a result of the suggestion, Procter & Gamble was created.

In 1858–1859, sales reached $1 million. By that point, about 80 employees worked for Procter & Gamble. During the American Civil War, the company won contracts to supply the Union Army with soap and candles. In addition to the increased profits experienced during the war, the military contracts introduced soldiers from all over the country to Procter & Gamble’s products.

In the 1880s, Procter & Gamble began to market a new product, an inexpensive soap that floats in water. The company called the soap Ivory. William Arnett Procter, William Procter’s grandson, began a profit-sharing program for the company’s workforce in 1887. By giving the workers a stake in the company, he correctly assumed that they would be less likely to go on strike.

The company began to build factories in other locations in the United States because the demand for products had outgrown the capacity of the Cincinnati facilities. The company’s leaders began to diversify its products, as well, and in 1911, began producing Crisco, a shortening made of vegetable oils rather than animal fats. As radio became more popular in the 1920s and 1930s, the company sponsored a number of radio programs. As a result, these shows often became commonly known as “soap operas”.

International expansion[edit]

The company moved into other countries, both in terms of manufacturing and product sales, becoming an international corporation with its 1930 acquisition of the Thomas Hedley Co., based in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. After this acquisition, Procter & Gamble had their UK Headquarters at ‘Hedley House’ in Newcastle upon Tyne, until quite recently. Numerous new products and brand names were introduced over time, and Procter & Gamble began branching out into new areas. The company introduced Tide laundry detergent in 1946 and Prell shampoo in 1947. In 1955, Procter & Gamble began selling the first toothpaste to contain fluoride, known as Crest. Branching out once again in 1957, the company purchased Charmin paper mills and began manufacturing toilet paper and other tissue paper products. Once again focusing on laundry, Procter & Gamble began making Downy fabric softener in 1960 and Bounce fabric softener sheets in 1972.[7]

One of the most revolutionary products to come out on the market was the company’s disposable Pampers diaper, first test-marketed in 1961, the same year Procter & Gamble came out with Head & Shoulders.[8] Prior to this point, disposable diapers were not popular, although Johnson & Johnson had developed a product called Chux. Babies always wore cloth diapers, which were leaky and labor-intensive to wash. Pampers provided a convenient alternative, albeit at the environmental cost of more waste requiring landfilling

Further developments[edit]

Procter & Gamble acquired a number of other companies that diversified its product line and significantly increased profits. These acquisitions included Folgers Coffee, Norwich Eaton Pharmaceuticals (the makers of Pepto-Bismol), Richardson-Vicks, Noxell (Noxzema), Shulton’s Old Spice, Max Factor, the Iams Company, and Pantene, among others. In 1994, the company made headlines for big losses resulting from levered positions in interest rate derivatives, and subsequently sued Bankers Trust for fraud; this placed their management in the unusual position of testifying in court that they had entered into transactions that they were not capable of understanding. In 1996, P&G again made headlines when the Food and Drug Administration approved a new product developed by the company, Olestra. Also known by its brand name ‘Olean’, Olestra is a lower-calorie substitute for fat in cooking potato chips and other snacks.

In January 2005, P&G announced the acquisition[9] of Gillette, forming the largest consumer goods company and placing Unilever into second place. This added brands such as Gillette razors, Duracell, Braun, and Oral-B to their stable. The acquisition was approved by the European Union and the Federal Trade Commission, with conditions to a spinoff of certain overlapping brands. P&G agreed to sell its SpinBrush battery-operated electric toothbrush business to Church & Dwight,[10] and Gillette’s Rembrandt toothpaste line to Johnson & Johnson.[11] The deodorant brands Right Guard, Soft and Dri, and Dry Idea were sold to Dial Corporation.[12] The companies officially merged on October 1, 2005. Liquid Paper and Gillette’s stationery division, Paper Mate, were sold to Newell Rubbermaid. In 2008, P&G branched into the record business with its sponsorship of Tag Records, as an endorsement for TAG Body Spray.[13]

P&G’s dominance in many categories of consumer products makes its brand management decisions worthy of study.[14] For example, P&G’s corporate strategists must account for the likelihood of one of their products cannibalizing the sales of another.[15]

On August 25, 2009, the Ireland-based pharmaceutical company Warner Chilcott announced they had bought P&G’s prescription-drug business for $3.1 billion.[16]

P&G exited the food business in 2012 when it sold its Pringles snack food business to Kellogg’s for $2.75 billion after the $2.35 billion deal with former suitor Diamond Foods fell short.[17] The company had previously sold Jif peanut butter, Crisco shortening and oils, and Folgers coffee in separate transactions to Smucker’s.

In April 2014, the company sold its Iams pet food business in all markets excluding Europe to Mars, Inc. for $2.9 billion.[18] It sold the European Iams business to Spectrum Brands in December 2014.[19]

Restructuring[edit]

In August 2014, P&G announced it was streamlining the company, dropping around 100 brands and concentrating on the remaining 65, which were producing 95% of the company’s profits.[4]

In March 2015, the company announced it was selling its Vicks VapoSteam U.S. liquid inhalant business to Helen of Troy, part of a brand-restructuring operation. This deal was the first health-related divestiture under the brand-restructuring operation.[20]

In July 2015, the company announced the sale of 43 of its beauty brands to Coty, a beauty-product manufacturer, in a US$13 billion deal. It cited sluggish growth for its beauty division as the reason for the merger.[21][22][23] The sale was completed on October 3, 2016.[24]

In February 2016, P&G completed the transfer of Duracell to Berkshire Hathaway through an exchange of shares.[25]

Operations[edit]

As of July 1, 2016, the company structure has been categorized into ten categories and six selling and market organizations.

  • Categories
    • Fabric care
    • Home care
    • Grooming
    • Oral care
    • Baby care
    • Feminine care
    • Family care
    • Personal health care
    • Hair care
    • Skin and personal care
  • Selling and market organizations
    • Asia Pacific
    • Europe
    • Greater China
    • India, the Middle East, and Africa (IMEA)
    • South America
    • North America

Management and staff[edit]

The board of directors of Procter & Gamble currently has 10 members:[26]

In May 2011, Fortune editor-at-large Patricia Sellers praised P&G’s board diversity, as five of the company’s 11 current directors are female and have all been on Fortune’s annual Most Powerful Women list.[27]

In March 2011, Rajat Gupta resigned from the board after a SEC accusation of Galleon Group insider trading.[28]

In May 2013, Robert A. McDonald announced his retirement and was replaced by A.G. Lafley, who returned as chairman, President, and CEO.[29]

Procter & Gamble is a member of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, a Washington, DC-based coalition of over 400 major companies and NGOs that advocates for a larger international affairs budget, which funds American diplomatic and development efforts abroad.[30]

Employer recognition[edit]

Fortune magazine awarded P&G a top spot on its list of “Global Top Companies for Leaders”, and ranked the company at 15th place of the “World’s Most Admired Companies” list.[31] Chief Executive magazine named P&G the best overall company for leadership development in its list of the “40 Best Companies for Leaders”.

In October 2008, P&G was named one of “Canada’s Top 100 Employers” by Mediacorp Canada Inc., and was featured in Maclean’s newsmagazine. Later that month, P&G was also named one of Greater Toronto’s Top Employers, which was announced by the Toronto Star newspaper.[32]

In October 2013, the company was named the fourth-most in-demand employer in the world according to analytic data sourced by Linkedin.[33]

In August 2013, P&G was named the 14th-hardest company to interview for by Glassdoor.[34] In November 2013, Glassdoor also named them as a top 25 company for career opportunities.[35] In February 2014, Glassdoor placed P&G 34th on their annual Best Places to Work list.[36]

In November 2014, P&G came out publicly in support of same-sex marriage in a statement made by William Gipson, P&G’s chief global diversity officer.[37]

In November 2015, P&G was named the Careers in Africa Employer of Choice 2015 following a survey of over 13,000 African professionals from across the globe. P&G was also recognised as the most desirable FMCG business to work for in Africa.[38]

Brands[edit]

As of 2015, 21 of P&G’s brands have more than a billion dollars in net annual sales.[39] Most of these brands—including Bounty, Crest, and Tide—are global products available on several continents. P&G’s products are available in North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.

P&G’s baby, feminine, and family-care division accounted for 29% of the company’s total net sales, the highest of all its divisions. The division includes Always, Bounty, Charmin and Pampers.[40]

According to Advertising Age, Procter & Gamble spent $4.3 billion advertising their various brands in the United States in 2015, making it the top advertiser in the country.[41]

Manufacturing operations are based in these regions:

Productions[edit]

The P&G production logo from 1986 to 2007

Procter & Gamble produced and sponsored the first radio soap operas in the 1930s. The company was known for detergents, leading to the term “soap opera”.[45] When the medium switched to television in the 1950s and 1960s, most of the new serials were sponsored and produced by the company (including The Guiding Light, which had begun in 1937 as a radio serial, and made the jump to television in 1952). Though the last P&G-produced show, As the World Turns, left the air in 2010, The Young and the Restless, produced by and broadcast on CBS, is still partially sponsored by Procter & Gamble; as of 2016, it is the only remaining daytime drama that is partially sponsored by Procter & Gamble.

These past serials were produced by Procter & Gamble:

Procter & Gamble also was the first company to produce and sponsor a prime-time serial spin-off, a 1965 spin-off of As the World Turns called Our Private World. In 1979, PGP produced Shirley, a prime-time NBC series starring Shirley Jones, which lasted 13 episodes. They also produced TBS‘ first original comedy series, Down to Earth, which ran from 1984 to 1987 (110 episodes were produced). They also distributed the syndicated comedy series Throb. They produced a game-show pilot called The Buck Stops Here with Taft Entertainment Television in 1985, hosted by Jim Peck; it was not picked up. Procter & Gamble Productions originally co-produced Dawson’s Creek with Sony Pictures Television, but withdrew before the series premiere due to early press reviews. It also produced the 1991 TV movie A Triumph of the Heart: The Ricky Bell Story, which was co-produced by The Landsburg Company. It also produces the People’s Choice Awards.

In 2013, PGP rebranded itself as Procter & Gamble Entertainment (PGE) with a new logo and an emphasis on multiple-platform entertainment production.

Sponsorships[edit]

In addition to its self-produced items through PGE, Procter & Gamble also supports many Spanish-language novellas through advertising on networks such as Univisión, Telemundo, UniMás, Estrella TV and Azteca America. Procter & Gamble was one of the first mainstream advertisers on Spanish-language TV during the mid-1980s.[citation needed]

In 2008, P&G expanded into music sponsorship when it joined Island Def Jam to create Tag Records, named after a body spray that P&G acquired from Gillette. In April 2010, after the cancellation of As the World Turns, PGP announced they were officially phasing out of the soap opera industry and expanding into more family-appropriate programming.[46][47]

Procter & Gamble also gave a $100,000 contract to the winners of Cycles 1 through 3 of Canada’s Next Top Model, wherein Andrea Muizelaar, Rebecca Hardy, and Meaghan Waller won the prize.

Procter & Gamble was a major sponsor of London’s 2012 Summer Olympic and sponsored 150 athletes,[48] plus Sochi’s 2014 Winter Olympics. It also sponsored the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio and will next sponsor the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang and the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. The company’s sponsorship includes television ads in which Olympic athletes are portrayed as children to convey the sense that the mothers of these athletes still remember them as infants; other ads stress how Olympic mothers stood by their children through years of training all the way through to Olympic success. 2016’s ad for the Rio Games notes upheavals as youths by an American gymnast, Chinese swimmer, Brazilian volleyballer, and German distance runner. The ads all make prominent use of the Ludovico Einaudi orchestral track “Divenire” and related such instrumentals.

The company has actively developed or sponsored numerous online communities,[49] i.e. BeingGirl.com (launched in 2000),[50] Women.com.[49] As of 2000, the company had 72 “highly stylized destination sites”.[51]

Controversies[edit]

Price fixing[edit]

In April 2011, P&G was fined 211.2 million euros by the European Commission for establishing a price-fixing cartel for washing powder in Europe along with Unilever, who was fined 104m euros, and Henkel (not fined). Though the fine was set higher at first, it was discounted by 10% after P&G and Unilever admitted running the cartel. As the provider of the tip-off leading to investigations, Henkel was not fined.[52]

Toxic shock syndrome and tampons[edit]

Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is a disease caused by strains of the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus. Most people have these bacteria living in their bodies as harmless commensals in places such as the nose, skin, and vagina. The disease can strike anyone, not only women, but the disease is often associated with tampons. In 1980, 814 menstrual-related TSS cases were reported; 38 deaths resulted from the disease. The majority of women in these cases were documented as using super-absorbent synthetic tampons, particularly the Rely tampon created by Procter & Gamble.[53] The Rely tampon was so super-absorbent that one by itself could in fact hold one woman’s entire menstrual period flow.[citation needed] Unlike other tampons made of cotton and rayon, Rely used carboxymethylcellulose and compressed beads of polyester for absorption.

In the summer of 1980, the Centers for Disease Control released a report explaining how these bacterial mechanisms were leading to TSS. They also stated that the Rely tampon was associated with TSS more than any other brand of tampon. In September 1980, Procter & Gamble voluntarily recalled its Rely brand of tampons from the market and agreed to provide for a program to notify consumers. Since the 1980s, reported cases of TSS have dramatically decreased.[54]

Animal testing[edit]

On June 30, 1999, Procter & Gamble announced that it would limit its animal testing practices to its food and drug products which represented less than 20% of its product portfolio.[55] The company invested more than $275 million in the development of alternative testing methods.[56]

Procter & Gamble has received criticism from animal advocacy group PETA for the practice of testing on animals.[57]

Other products[edit]

In 2002, P&G was sued for its ads falsely suggesting to the consumers that the drug Prilosec could cure heartburn in a day.[58] In December 2005, the Pharmaceutical division of P&G was involved in a dispute over research involving its osteoporosis drug Actonel. The case was discussed in the media.[59]

Logo myth[edit]

Former P&G logo

P&G’s former logo originated in 1851 as a crude cross that barge workers on the Ohio River painted on cases of P&G star candles to identify them. P&G later changed this symbol into a trademark that showed a man in the moon overlooking 13 stars, said to commemorate the original 13 colonies.[60]

The company received unwanted media publicity in the 1980s when rumors spread that the moon-and-stars logo was a satanic symbol. The accusation was based on a particular passage in the Bible, specifically Revelation 12:1, which states: “And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, the moon under her feet and upon her head a crown of 12 stars.” P&G’s logo consisted of a man’s face on the moon surrounded by 13 stars. Some claimed that the logo was a mockery of the heavenly symbol alluded to in the aforementioned verse, thus construing the logo to be satanic. Where the flowing beard meets the surrounding circle, three curls were said to be a mirror image of the number 666, or the reflected number of the beast. At the top and bottom, the hair curls in on itself and was said to be the two horns like those of a ram. The moon-and-stars logo was discontinued in 1985 in a failed attempt to squash the rumors.[61]

These interpretations have been denied by company officials and no evidence linking the company to the Church of Satan or any other occult organization has ever been presented. The company unsuccessfully sued Amway from 1995 to 2003 over rumors forwarded through a company voice-mail system in 1995. In 2007, the company successfully sued individual Amway distributors for reviving and propagating the false rumors.[62] The Church of Satan denies being supported by Procter & Gamble.[63]

Human right violations of palm oil in 2016[edit]

According to Amnesty International in 2016 Procter & Gamble palm oil provider Wilmar International profited from 8 to 14-year-old child labor and forced labor. Some workers were extorted, threatened or not paid for work. Some workers suffered severe injuries from toxic banned chemicals. In 2016 Singapore-based Wilmar International was world’s biggest palm oil grower.[64]