Why some think P&G’s innovation is slipping
Cincinnati giant pours $2 billion into R&D to prove to investors, consumers it’s still got its edge
■ BY JACK NEFF email@example.com
TUCKED IN AN AREA north of
Cincinnati is an office-warehouse
building that looks like a movie set. It
contains fully functional mockups of
two homes (one upper-middle class,
one lower-income) complete with
kitchens, bathrooms and laundry
rooms. It has two mock grocery stores
and a virtual-reality lab where you can
fly over store shelves.
And, just like a front operation in a
spy thriller, the complex is innocuously
called BRI Research—to avoid letting
consumers know that they’re involved
in studies for Procter & Gamble.
This is the Beckett Ridge Innovation
Center, or BRIC, in P&G parlance. And
P&G, whose innovation record has
come under growing scrutiny, hopes it
of a new buyer
a company that
built an $80B
creating brand s
is now mostly
deal with that company).
The announcement highlighted
how P&G, which built its reputation
and much of its $80 billion empire as a
creator of brands like Tide, Pampers and
Swiffer, seems to be divesting or discontinuing more than creating. In just
the past two years, P&G has spun off
Pur and shut down Tag.
It has been five years since P&G
launched a brand in the U.S., and that
was niche probiotic Align.
In the meantime, rivals are moving
in with their own new products.
Unilever introduced Simple—a
leading U.K. skin-care brand acquired
See P&G on Page 22
BATTLINGTHEBIGGUNS: Rick Santorum is at a fundraising disadvantage compared with his GOP rivals.
Rivals gang up
on Ford trucks
as Dodge Ram
Oh, snap! Only weeks after
Chevy hits Ford at Super
Bowl, Chrysler piles on
■ BY STEPHEN WILLIAMS
As Super Tuesday nears, which
candidates can afford to advertise?
Republican hopefuls scratch for cash to compete in upcoming state primaries
■ BY ANA RADELAT firstname.lastname@example.org
RICK SANTORUM MAY be coming up
strong, but does he have the fuel to finish? As candidates near that peculiar
phenomenon of the presidential-pri-mary season known as “Super
Tuesday,” the GOP rivals of former
Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney
may not be able to afford the advertising blitz needed to carry that day.
Having spent most of the money
they raised last year, the Republican
candidates are taking advantage of a lull
in the campaign to frantically seek
more cash so they can compete in the
seven states that hold primaries and the
three that hold caucuses March 6.
The super PACs that support these
candidates are also refueling.
According to Federal Election
Commission reports, Mr. Romney
raised about $56 million last year, Rep.
Ron Paul of Texas raised almost
$26 million and former House Speaker
Newt Gingrich $12.6 million.
Mr. Santorum, a former U.S. sena-
tor from Pennsylvania whose recent
victories in Minnesota, Missouri and
Colorado have turned the bid for the
GOP nomination into a two-man con-
test between him and Mr. Romney,
raised the least—a paltry $2.2 million.
FIRST THERE WAS the Super Bowl slam,
where drivers of Chevy Silverado
trucks lament the loss of their buddy
Dave, who doesn’t survive an apoca-
lypse because he drove a Ford. Now
Chrysler runs a national spot from
Doner that poses the question: What if
you were to take away horsepower,
torque and warranty coverage from a
Ram? “Well,” says the grizzled voice-
over, “you’d end up with a Ford F-150.”
A dogfight has raged for decades in
the truck category,
though, before it hits
Ford isn’t say-
ing—”We haven’t seen the ad yet, so
we’ll reserve comment until we do,”
said a Ford spokesman—but the mar-
keter has not always been satisfied to
take the high road.
In September, Ford got some heat
when it ran a provocative spot as part of
its “Drive One” campaign, spotlighting
Chris, an F-150 driver. Facing a barrage
of questions from reporters, Chris says,
“I wasn’t going to buy another car that
was bailed out by our government. I
was going to buy from a manufacturer
See PAGE 13
argues that these
negative ads can
work, but only if
See POLI TICS on Page 21
See TRUCK WARS on Page 21