3M (US)

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Selected 3M advertising

Diversified science & technology developer 3M is probably best known for everyday consumer and office products such as Post-It notes, Scotch Tape or Scotch-Brite, and numerous other Scotch-branded adhesive products. However the group derives the bulk of its revenues from industrial coatings, adhesives and dressings for a vast range of other sectors from road signs and electrical engineering to healthcare solutions, and from occupational safety products to automobile and aircraft manufacturing. It was founded in 1902 as Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing to make sandpaper, and didn't officially change its name to 3M until 2002, although that acronym had already been in informal use for many years. The key development in the company's history was the invention of masking tape in 1925, initially for use when painting automobile bodywork. That led to the introduction of cellophane Scotch Tape five years later, and other adhesive products. According to legend, the brand name Scotch was conceived because the tape was only lightly - or "stingily" - coated with adhesive so it could be easily removed. Post-It notes were introduced in 1980. Group revenues hit a record high in 2018 of $32.8bn, with net income of $5.3bn, but warned of a slowdown in 2019 as a result of slowing demand in international markets, especially China. The consumer division is 3M's smallest, contributing $4.8bn. More than 60% of revenues are generated outside the US. Inge Thulin, group CEO since 2012, moved up to executive chairman in 2018, and was succeeded by Michael Roman, formerly COO. Joaquin Delgado leads the consumer business group. In 2019, the group acquired wound-care company Acelity, whose brands include Nexcare medical tape and bandages, for a total value of around $6.7bn including debt.

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Capsule checked 30th January 2019

Recent stories from Adbrands Weekly Update:

Adbrands Weekly Update 24th Nov 2016: Biggest new review was a similar parting of the ways between 3M and longtime partner Grey. 3M is seeking a new agency to handle global campaigns for Scotch Tape, Post-It notes and its other consumer products.

Adbrands Weekly Update 28th Jul 2016: Ads of the Week "Jump". Grey New York's sweet new campaign for 3M's Post-It notes - the first for more than three years - comes up with an imaginative way to sell the benefits of the product. It's not just a stationery item; it's an inspirational sporting achievement tool as well. Cute idea.

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