Marketer to Seed Ad Budget with Healthcare Savings
By George Anderson
Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. plans to boost its ad spending from 5.6 percent of company sales to seven percent and it has a unique strategy for funding the increase. The dollars will come from an efficiency and cost-cutting program known internally as Project Excellence. Among other things, the program requires employees to quit smoking or lose their jobs, reports Ad Age.
Bob Bernstock, president and chief operating officer of Scotts Miracle-Gro, said the company would offer smoking cessation programs to the approximately one-third of its workforce who smoke. Those who are unable to quit, will be fired.
Scotts is looking to boost its ad spending to push its competitive advantage in the market. The company already holds a 54 percent share in the retail lawn and garden category business where it competes against companies such as Spectrum Brands.
“Advertising is a key competitive advantage of Scotts, whose competitors cannot match [its spending] levels,” wrote Joseph Norton, an analyst with Bank of America Securities, in a research note.
Scott’s Chairman and CEO Jim Hagedorn has high aspirations for his company. “We want to be the Procter & Gamble of lawn and garden,” he said.
Moderator’s Comment: What is your reaction to Scotts Miracle-Gro’s plans to fund increases to its ad budget?
We wonder how the company plans to deal with relapses for those joining its smoking cessation program. As many who have had a nicotine addiction know, it
is not unusual to go through numerous attempts before kicking the habit for good. –
George Anderson – Moderator