Golin triumphs in 10-firm pitch for SC Johnson AOR

RACINE, WI: SC Johnson & Sons has picked Golin Harris as its new global AOR, ending a five-year relationship with sister IPG shop Weber Shandwick.

RACINE, WI: SC Johnson & Sons has picked Golin Harris as its new global AOR, ending a five-year relationship with sister IPG shop Weber Shandwick.

Golin anticipates that the initial assignment will include work in about 12 to 15 countries for privately held SC Johnson, which sells such brands as Pledge, Raid, and Windex.

"We expect, with each passing month, there will be more assignments," said Ellen Ryan Mardiks, director of Golin's marketing and brand strategy practice.

Golin will hire additional staff at all experience levels to work on the new account, she added.

The agency will handle brand-related tasks and corporate issues management work. "We'll work on important opportunities and issues for them all over the world," Mardiks said.

Neither side would comment on spending plans, but Mardiks said SC Johnson "will be a very major account for us."

She will head the account team along with Scott Farrell, MD of Golin's Chicago office.

The win is significant for Golin, which recently declined to repitch in an agency review for five-year client Lowe's.

At SC Johnson, Kelly Semrau, VP, global public affairs and communication, said the review was not motivated by external circumstances. "It was just time to have a review," she said.

SC Johnson considered 10 undisclosed agencies for the assignment and picked Golin because of its brand marketing work and expertise, she noted.

Golin will assist with new-product launches and brand marketing. SC Johnson's internal staff will handle its social responsibility efforts, a major emphasis for the family-owned company, Semrau added.

Even without pressure from analysts and investors, SC Johnson has made social responsibility a major focus, Mardiks noted.

"Our strong relationships with consumers, employees, and other stakeholders are of the utmost importance to us," Semrau said.

SC Johnson undertook the review around the time it named its new CEO. H. Fisk Johnson, who represents the fifth generation to run the company, stepped into the role on November 18.

The company denied that the agency search was related to the leadership change.

SC Johnson operates in more than 70 countries and sells products in more than 110 countries.

Its fiscal 2004 sales were $6.5 billion, a 21% increase from the previous year, according to estimates from Hoover's.

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