Core brands Kleenex, Kotex, Huggies and Scott make Kimberly-Clark the world's leading maker of tissues and paper towels, and it ranks just behind Procter & Gamble as the US's # 2 household and personal care manufacturer, though it keeps a significantly lower profile than its rival. It was one of the first companies in the world to develop commercial toilet paper, was the inventor of disposable paper tissues and went on to become a pioneer in feminine hygiene with the introduction of Kotex sanitary napkins. The original business doubled in size in 1995 with its acquisition of long-time rival, the Scott Paper Company. Much of the current group's attention is focused on its battle with P&G in the diaper, bathroom tissue, paper towel and feminine protection markets. K-C can console itself with the knowledge that it still outranks its much larger rival in paper products, but its Huggies brand takes a distant second place in the global diaper market. Kimberly-Clark products are sold in more than 150 countries with manufacturing facilities in 42 countries. As a result it manages a large collection of regional brands including Andrex in the UK; Wondersoft in Australia; Scottex, Page, Hakle and others in Europe; Petalo, Suavel and Delsey and others across Latin America. Other US brands include Cottonelle bathroom tissue and Depend incontinence pads. The group acquired Indonesia's Softex sanpro, Sweety diapers and Confidence adult care pads in 2020 for $1.2bn. Kimberly-Clark also has a sizeable B2B division selling industrial and commercial disposable gloves, masks, wipes and washroom products. A medical products division was spun off in 2014 as Halyard Health. For more than a decade, group revenues have been stuck in a comparatively narrow band between $18bn and $20bn. The figure for 2021 was $19.4bn, split more or less evenly between the US and international markets. Personal care (mainly diapers and feminine care) accounted for more than half of sales, and the Huggies portfolio alone contributes around a third of group revenues, or $6.4bn in 2020. Net income was $1.8bn in 2021, down by almost a quarter on the year before, mainly as a result of higher manufacturing costs. Tom Falk handed over the role of CEO at the end of 2018 to Michael Hsu, previously president & COO. Hsu became chairman as well the following year.
Capsule checked 26th November 2021
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Who are the competitors of Kimberly-Clark? Main competitors are Procter & Gamble in global personal care and US consumer tissue; Georgia-Pacific and Marcal in US tissue, Kruger Products in Canada, and Essity in international tissue and personal care. See Personal Care and Household Care Sector for other companies.
Historical profile information for Kimberly-Clark
Adbrands Daily Update 4th Sep 2020: Kimberly-Clark agreed a comparatively rare acquisition, strengthening its business in South East Asia with the purchase of Indonesia's Softex. Deal price was around $1.2bn, roughly four times Softex's revenues. Products include diaper brands Sweety and Happy Nappy, Softex sanpro and Confidence adult pads, and Softies wipes and santisers.
Adbrands Daily Update 12th Nov 2019: Accenture Interactive won what is arguably its first major creative win under its own banner, as opposed to through its subsidiary agencies. A team from Accenture and Droga5 was awarded creative in the US and the EMEA region for Kimberly-Clark's baby and childcare products, including Huggies, Pull-Ups and Goodnites diapers. WPP's Ogilvy and Wunderman Thompson agencies will retain the business in Canada and Asia Pacific. A decision has yet to be reached on Latin America. Kimberly-Clark said the decision had been clinched by the compelling combination of Droga5's creative skills and Accenture's specialised technology tools. "We would not have been able to do this without [Droga5]," said Accenture Interactive CEO Brian Whipple, "and I don't think they would have been able to do this without being part of Accenture Interactive."
Adbrands Daily Update 10th Jul 2019: Alison Lewis, until recently chief marketing officer for consumer healthcare at Johnson & Johnson, is joining Kimberly-Clark with the title of chief growth officer. Lewis is a widely respected figure in the industry, having spent almost six years at J&J and more than a decade before that at Coca-Cola, latterly as CMO for North America.
Adbrands Weekly Update 25th Oct 2018: Thomas Falk, CEO of paper products giant Kimberly-Clark, will hand over that role at the end of this year to current company president & COO Michael Hsu. Falk will remain executive chairman.
Adbrands Weekly Update 24th May 2018: Kimberly-Clark promoted Giusy Buonfantino to the position of global chief marketing officer, reporting to president of global brands & innovation Tony Palmer. Buonfantino was previously president of North America baby & child care. She replaces Scott Usitalo, who remains with the company until his retirement in August to assist with the transition.
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