Recently I posted some thoughts based on a case study that questioned the practices of P&G which stood accused of trying to fool customers by falsely stating that the new bottle type of Ariel contained "10% more product" (tan the previous type of bottle presumably).
Much to my surprise, I got an answer from somebody working for P&G who reacted within just a couple of hours and that's quite impressive since this blog has never been about building audience or making noise and is therefore not particularly influential. I'm absolutely WOWed by P&G ability to monitor online resources and take reasonable action on any alerts and that's the kind of defensive marketing tactics modern brand management should always feature. More often than not that's not the case.
In this post there's a quick analysis of the facts provided by P&G, which infirm the assertions of the presentation although they do not necessarily prove the accuracy of the "+10%" claim, which I'd rate as "almost true" or "true enough" if I were to run the "truth-o-meter". Naturally that means there is no reason to state that P&G is fooling their customers and the very fact that they engaged in a discussion with this blog shows that they're treating online sources and people out there in a very respectful manner.
First let me give you a copy of P&G's reply, which I found very well formulated, very factual and showing great respect for a very humble blogger without any influence whatsoever. To respect privacy I'm witholding the name and details of the author of the reply:
Now to translate the content's of P&G response into dry facts and figures I created the table below to try to assess the actual impact of changes to Ariel's bottling in terms of effective quantity of product provided to consumers. Since we do not have any idea of the evolution of the product's price in inflation adjusted terms we cannot say whether the 2009 bottling is a better deal or not, but depending on whether they could actually do 18 or 20 (18+2) wash loads with one bottle the effective quantity purchased could either be a real increase of 11.1% or an unchanged situation, but it is in no case a decrease of 5% to 7% in quantity provided as shown in the presentation:
Needless to say I'm very impressed that P&G was able to spot the post within only a few hours from its publication, that their response was so swift and effective and I can see why they've been so good at building world class super valuable brands: Ariel is #84 and worth close to 7.8 billion USD in the 2009 top 100 and Pampers is ranked #31 and valued at 18.8 billion USD. For your convenience I'm embedding the ranking of top 100 brands below: