Procter & Gamble

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This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on global corporations.

Procter & Gamble (P&G) is a global consumer product and pharmaceutical company based in Cincinnati, Ohio. P&G is the number one maker of household products in the United States. The company's three product lines are beauty care; health, baby and family care and household care. Brand names include Actonel, Always/Whisper, Braun, Bounty, Charmin, Crest, Downy/Lenor, Folgers, Gillette, Iams, Olay, Pampers, Pantene, Pringles, Tide and Wella. In the fiscal year ending in June of 2009, the company reported global sales of over 79 billion dollars and had 135,000 employees.[1]

In 1999, P&G acquired the Iams Company, which manufactures and markets pet food. Brand names include Eukanuba and Iams dry and canned dog and cat foods. [2]

Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council

Procter & Gamble has been a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), P&G Served on ALEC's Private Enterprise Board in 2008. [3]

A list of ALEC Corporations can be found here.

About ALEC
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our PRWatch.org site.


Animal testing

Proctor & Gamble does animal testing.

Facility information, progress reports & USDA-APHIS reports

For links to copies of this facility's U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)-Animal Plant Health Inspection (APHIS) reports, other information and links, see also Facility Reports and Information: Proctor & Gamble, Cincinnati, Ohio. [4]

For links to copies of this facility's USDA-Animal Plant Health Inspection (APHIS) reports, other information and links, see also Facility Reports and Information: The IAMS Company, Dayton, OH.[5]

USDA AWA reports

As of May 26, 2009, the USDA began posting all inspection reports for animal breeders, dealers, exhibitors, handlers, research facilities and animal carriers by state. See also USDA Animal Welfare Inspection Reports.

This information does not include animal testing contracted out to contract research organizations (CRO)s nor testing done outside of the U.S. Firms hire CROs to conduct animal toxicity tests for agrochemicals, petrochemicals, household products, pharmaceutical drugs and toxins. See also pharmaceutical industry, section 9 on contract research organizations.

Huntingdon Life Sciences

P&G is a former client of Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS).[6]

Animal cruelty & welfare violations

Iams investigation (United States)

PETA investigation of Sinclair Research Center. - 2002 - 2003

For nearly 10 months in 2002 and 2003, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) conducted an undercover investigation at Sinclair Research Center, a contract laboratory for Iams pet food. The investigation found dogs had gone crazy from intense confinement in barren steel cages and cement cells. Dogs were left piled on a filthy paint-chipped floor after chunks of muscle had been hacked from their thighs. They had also been surgically debarked. Severely ill dogs and cats were languished in cages without veterinary care. Iams representatives toured the facility and witnessed dogs circling their cells and sweltering in the summer heat, yet did nothing about it. The USDA investigated PETA's complaint and cited the laboratory for failure to provide veterinary care and pain relief; adequate space; and employee training; along with almost 40 other violations of the Animal Welfare Act. [7], [8] Sinclair paid a penalty of $33,000.

After intense pressure from PETA and its supporters, Iams agreed to sever its ties with Sinclair Research Center and end invasive and terminal experiments on dogs and cats. Iams also agreed to begin conducting in-home tests for food and nutrition experiments. However, they still keep up to 700 dogs in their Dayton, Ohio laboratory for non-invasive nutritional studies, which they have refused to give a PETA representative access to. Iams has also refused to end invasive experiments on non dog and cat studies. Iams funded an almost $200,000 two-year study at Purdue University that consisted of taping the tails of mice to the tops of cages to keep their hind legs suspended and cause muscular atrophy. They also fought the release of information from another university study in which a painful disease was induced in dogs. Animal groups have pressured Iams to conduct 100% non-invasive, cage free in-home tests only. [9]

Iams investigation (United Kingdom)

Shocking cruelty was also exposed in the United Kingdom in 2001. IAMS/Eukanuba's experiments on hundreds of animals caused kidney failure, obesity, malnutrition, liver damage, severe allergic reactions, stomach inflammation, diarrhoea, severe skin disorders, lesions, skin wounds and other painful illnesses.[10] In May of 2001, the Sunday Express revealed "damning evidence of gruesome tests performed on dogs and cats".[11]

The UK laboratory watchdog group, Uncaged Campaigns, uncovered documents describing Iams' "horrific research" on 460 cats and dogs. The front page story was based on the groups' investigation. Many of the animals endured painful, invasive and lethal tests. After the story broke, the Royal Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) vowed to sever its ties with the company. In a January of 2002 letter responding to Uncaged Campaigns' concerns, the RSPCA acknowledge that "allegations" which appeared in the Express "were indeed well-founded", in spite of the company's denials. The RSPCA described P&G's policy statement that "we do not use cats and dogs in research or testing for non-drug products" as "deficient". Several other welfare groups and rescue societies vowed "not to give IAMS a platform in future." Many other animal welfare, animal rights and companion animal groups pledged their support.[12] See also links to Iams pages.[13]

P&G product testing

P&G uses many other species of animals, including guinea pigs, rabbits, hamsters, ferrets, rats and mice for "product safety research", in addition to using cats and dogs in pet food experiments. Investigations by Uncaged Campaigns revealed disturbing examples of P&G’s ongoing painful and lethal animal testing:

"P&G test on animals because of their desire to get new chemical ingredients on to the market. This allows them to claim that their new hair dye, skin cream or washing powder etc. is ‘new, improved’, in the hope of increasing sales. But with many companies producing similar consumer products without carrying out animal tests, it shows that P&G’s cruelty is motivated by greed." ..instead of reforming, P&G invest enormous amounts in PR and spin that aims to give a rosy impression of their testing practices. P&G have even been lobbying governments to try to block bans on animal testing for cosmetics that have public support."[14]

Their investigations uncovered the company's plans for massive animal testing programs for new cosmetics and household product ingredients. See also descriptions of experiments.[15] According to In Defense of Animals (IDA), P&G claims to no longer use dogs in product testing and to have reduced animal testing by 90%. However, they refuse to release numbers, species and specific information about tests, even to their own shareholders. P&G still kills thousands of animals a year in cruel, painful tests for trivial, unnecessary ingredients. See also Recent Procter & Gamble animal testing [16] & animal testing, section 3 on product (toxicity) testing.

Over 90% of the animals used in experimentation are excluded from the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), the only federal law which over sees animal testing. Rats, mice, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish are expressly eliminated from all safeguards. Species not covered under the AWA do not even have to be reported. [17] See also USDA.

Global Boycott Proctor & Gamble Day

Global Boycott Proctor & Gamble Day is sponsored by Uncaged Campaigns. It is usually held on the third Saturday of May as part of a worldwide campaign to publicize P&G's animal testing policies and educate consumers about cruelty-free shopping. [18]

Drug issues

Rent-a-researcher

"Power games" describe P&G's relationship with academics, alleged a scientist who began investigating its billion-dollar osteoporosis treatment in the summer of 2002. Increasingly, medical research in the UK is a collaborative effort between big pharma companies and universities. At its heart of this collaboration is medical paper ghostwriting. Pharmaceutical companies hire writers to produce reports, which in turn, academics grant permission for their names to be put on. In a rare glimpse of the "highly sensitive world of scientific drugs research", the UK Observer investigated and uncovered a story of war between one of Britain's leading academics and P&G. At issue was a "highly significant report on a drug to treat a debilitating disease", published under the academics name, who denied having even "seen analysis of the research it was based on." P&G "denied anything untoward" happened. [19]

According to a copy of a proposed settlement released by Senior Medical Professor Aubrey Blumsohn in December of 2005, Sheffield University in Britain promised to pay him $252,000 if he would agree to leave his post and not make "any detrimental or derogatory statements" about Sheffield or its employees. For several years, Blumsohn had been complaining of scientific misconduct, primarily in relation to a $250,000 research contract between Sheffield and P&G pharmaceuticals. Blumsohn claimed that the company had denied him access to key data and then tried to ghostwrite his analysis of it. Worse still, the university acted as an enforcer for the company in its efforts to conceal data and manipulate research conclusions. [20], [21]

Tobacco issues

P&G has a 1988 patent for an alternative nicotine delivery system, a dosing device to provide vaporized medication to the lungs as a fine aerosol, battery operated heater designed to deliver nicotine or a nicotine salt to satisfy the smoker's craving for nicotine. [22]

Ad campaigns & sponsorships

CSR: A "deep, emotional bond" with shampoo

In July 2006, PR Week reported on P&G's new corporate social responsibility campaign, "Pantene Beautiful Lengths." The campaign encourages people "to grow, cut, and donate their hair to make wigs for women who have lost hair due to cancer treatment." It was launched on July 13, 2006, when actress Diane Lane had her hair cut on NBC's Today show, to donate to the P&G campaign.

P&G's Anthony Rose told PR Week, "We created the program to form a deep, emotional bond between our consumers and Pantene. Increasingly, we are learning that mere awareness of the brand, its functionality, and performance are not enough." Rose credited P&G's PR firm, DeVries Public Relations, with the idea for the campaign. DeVries has also promoted the industry group Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrance Association's "Look Good, Feel Better" program with cancer survivors.[23]

"My black is beautiful"

In August 2007, Advertising Age reported on P&G's new multi-brand campaign, "My Black Is Beautiful." The brainchild of P&G multicultural marketing director Najoh Tita Reid, the campaign seeks to "make all black girls and women" feel beautiful, while forging "a closer relationship between P&G brands and their black consumers." According to P&G research, "71% of black women feel they're portrayed worse than other women in media and advertising. Despite that, they spend on average three times more than the general market on beauty products." P&G was a month away from unveiling the campaign to employees in April 2007, when radio host Don Imus made his infamous racist remarks. P&G's Reid encouraged the company to pull its ads from Imus' show, in part to lay the groundwork for "Black Is Beautiful." Reid explained:

"We said, 'Let's start grass roots and work our way toward national advertising.' ... It's more authentic." The campaign included grants from P&G's Always and Tampax, "booklets likely to be distributed by Essence," and "a series of community discussions," organized in conjunction with women's groups. [24]

Fox News

P&G is a sponsor of Fox News. [25]

Buzz/word-of-mouth marketing

"Tremor" for teens

In 2001, P&G started "Tremor," a word-of-mouth marketing program that recruited teens to "pitch" products from P&G and other companies to their friends. "Tremor now has enlisted 225,000 teens," reported BusinessWeek in mid-2006. "But a downside to Tremor has been that most of P&G's products target adults. That's why 80% of Tremor's work has been for outside clients, such as music and movie companies."

"There's something truly creepy about the notion of marketers manipulating what ordinary people say to one another," writes Jeff Gelles. "As a parent, I'm especially concerned when the targets are teenagers like my daughters - which is why I decided to take a look inside Tremor," a Procter & Gamble website that has enlisted a quarter-million teenagers as "word-of-mouth" marketers. Tremor uses coupons, discounts, free downloads and product samples combined with "the usual online smarminess" to hook kids into spreading the word about their clients' products.

In October 2005, the nonprofit group Commercial Alert filed a complaint against Tremor with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. The complaint criticized "P&G's policy of not requiring that connectors [the teen marketers] disclose their affiliation with the marketer," according to BusinessWeek. "Without such disclosure, Commercial Alert Executive Director Gary Ruskin sees the danger of the basic 'commercialization of human relations,' where friends treat one another as advertising pawns, undercutting social trust. ... [W]ord of mouth is such a new form of marketing that the agency hasn't yet developed a disclosure policy," but the FTC is expected to rule on the case in mid to late 2006.

"Vocalpoint" for moms

In 2005, P&G launched "Vocalpoint," another word-of-mouth program that BusinessWeek called "a state-of-the-art method for reaching the most influential group of shoppers in America: moms." By mid-2006, Vocalpoint had grown to 600,000 mothers with "large social networks." P&G provides Vocalpoint participants with "messages mothers will want to share," along with "samples, coupons, and a chance to share their own opinions with P&G."

Again, P&G didn't require its mom marketers to disclose their relationship with the company to the people being pitched. P&G's Steve Knox, who heads both Tremor and Vocalpoint, claimed that the company was taking the "high road" in doing so. "We have a deeply held belief you don't tell the consumer what to say," he told BusinessWeek. However, the company does provide its stealth marketers with product pitches. Often, the pitch has a different message than the larger ad campaign. For example, in traditional ads for Dawn Direct Foam ... P&G stressed its grease-cutting power. But Vocalpoint moms were mailed packets showing the detergent and a smiling girl on the outside with these words in big letters: "Mom, can I help?" A pamphlet inside explained that the soap is so fun to use that kids would want to help out with the dishes. To reinforce the point, the packet included a little sponge in the shape of a child's foot, plus a dozen $1.50 coupons.

"We have to enable a conversation to take place," Knox says. "Kids not doing enough chores is a conversation taking place among moms."[26]

Beinggirl

P&G describes their beingagirl site in the following way:

"Being a girl is like being part of a club where everyone knows what you're going through …at least on some level. Girls have fun. Girls have opinions. Girls have a lot of questions about stuff like PMS, dating, their bodies and even serious subjects like addiction and abuse – just about anything you can think of that has to do with being a girl.
That's why we created beinggirl – a place where girls can come together to learn, share, communicate with each other and have loads of fun with games, quizzes, polls and lots more. It's also THE place to be for the hottest free samples from Always and Tampax, to name a few. ...Beinggirl.com, for girls, by girls!" [27]

P&G Ad boycott against Air America Radio

Procter & Gamble refused to advertise on the progressive Air America Radio. In October 2006, around 90 companies, including Procter & Gamble, told ABC Radio Networks that they did not want their ads to play on radio stations that carried Air America Radio. [28] [29] [30]

Political contributions

Procter & Gamble gave $$550,782 to federal candidates in the 2008 election cycle through its political action committee (PAC) - 35% to Democrats and 65% to Republicans. [31]

Lobbying

The company spent $2,751,479 for lobbying in 2006. $502,400 of this total went to four outside lobbying firms: Accord Group, Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti Inc, Angus & Nickerson, and JBC International. [32]

Personnel & board

  • Alan Lafley - Chairman
  • Robert McDonald - President, CEO & Director
  • Werner Geissler - Vice Chairman, Global Operations [33]

Key executives & pay

         Options
exercised
Alan Lafley - Chairman & CEO    $7,800,000    $3,120,000
Clayton C. Daley, Jr. - CFO    $2,540,000    $208,000
Robert A. McDonald - COO    N/A    N/A
Susan E. Arnold - President, Global Business Units    $2,550,000    $136,000

[34]

Selected board members

Other Staff

Contact

1 Procter & Gamble Plaza
Cincinnati, OH 45202

Phone: (513) 983-1100

Web address: http://www.pg.com

Articles & sources

SourceWatch articles

References

  1. Company Description: Procter & Gamble, Hoovers, accessed December 2009
  2. Company Description: Iams Company, Hoovers, December 2009
  3. American Legislative Exchange Council, 2008 Form 990, filed with the IRS and received by Guidestar.org, August 19, 2009
  4. Facility Reports and Information: Proctor & Gamble, Cincinnati, Ohio, Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!, accessed December 2009
  5. Facility Reports and Information: The IAMS Company, Dayton, OH, SAEN, accessed December 2009
  6. Huntingdon Life Sciences Group PLC: How Did It Find Trouble?, The Motley Fool, July 1997
  7. Animal Welfare Act and Regulations, U.S. Department of Agriculture, December 2009
  8. Sinclair Research Center, USDA Report, October 2006
  9. Animals Still Suffer at Iams: cruelty investigation, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, accessed February 2009
  10. Iams... the suffering behind the 'science': IAMS/Eukanuba test on animals, Uncaged Campaigns, accessed March 2010
  11. Lucy Johnson Pet Food Cruelty Exposed, Sunday Express, May 27, 2001
  12. RSPCA hoodwinked over cruel cat & dog pet food experiments: Stars Vow to Boycott Iams, Uncaged Campaigns, Press Release, July 3, 2002
  13. Iams... the suffering behind the 'science': IAMS/Eukanuba test on animals, Uncaged Campaigns, accessed March 2010
  14. Boycott Procter & Gamble: Who are Procter & Gamble?, Uncaged Campaigns, accessed March 2010
  15. Boycott Procter & Gamble: P&G’s Animal Testing: Pain for Profit, Uncaged Campaigns, accessed March 2010
  16. Procter & Gamble Cosmetic Testing: The Facts, In Defense of Animals, accessed December 28, 2008
  17. The Animal Care Program and the USDA's Authority Under the AWA: Q & A, USDA, APHIS Fact Sheet, July 2005, page 2
  18. Global Day of Action: What is Global Boycott P&G Day?, Uncaged Campaigns, 2009
  19. Jo Revill, "How the drugs giant and a lone academic went to war", The Observer, December 4, 2005.
  20. Hilary Larter Without Prejudice and Subject to Contract, November 30, 2005
  21. Jennifer Washburn Rent-a-Researcher: Did a British university sell out to Procter & Gamble?, Slate, December 22, 2005
  22. D.L. Gerth, D.R Muckenfuhs United States Patent Number: 4,735,217 Dosing Device to Provide Vaporized Medicament to the Lungs as a Fine Aerosol Patent. 10 pp. April 5, 1988. Philip Morris Bates No. 2081755919/5928
  23. DeVries and Pantene/Procter & Gamble: Beautiful Lengths: Grow. Cut. Share., PR Week, July 13, 2006
  24. Jack Neff, "'My Black Is Beautiful': P&G Wants to Connect With African-American Women. Najoh Reid Provides the Blueprint and the Rallying Cry," Advertising Age, August 27, 2007
  25. A List of Fox's sponsors: Hit Them Where it Hurts!, Daily Paul, December 2007
  26. I Sold It Through The Grapevine, Business Week, May 29, 2006
  27. About Being a Girl, Beinggirl.com, accessed December 2009
  28. Marc Fisher, "Air America, in the Throes of Victory?", The Washington Post, December 10, 2006.
  29. "Air America on Ad Blacklist?", FAIR, October 31, 2006.
  30. "Air America Blackout", FAIR.org/ABC memo, October 25, 2006.
  31. PAC Summary Data, Open Secrets, accessed March 2010
  32. Procter & Gamble lobbying expenses, Open Secrets, accessed October 2007.
  33. Company Description: Procter & Gamble, Hoovers, accessed December 2009
  34. Procter & Gamble Key Executives, Yahoo Finance, accessed October 2007
  35. Board of Directors, Procter & Gamble, accessed October 2007.

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