P&G promises not to 'pull back' on marketing as coronavirus boosts sales

FMCG giant saw increase in organic sales in first quarter.

Daz: P&G says consumers are using more laundry products than before
Daz: P&G says consumers are using more laundry products than before

Procter & Gamble said that now was a time for "doubling down" on its existing media plans, as it reported better-than-expected organic sales growth for the first quarter of the year as a result of changing consumer behaviour in the coronavirus pandemic.

The FMCG giant’s organic sales for the quarter grew 6%, compared with what chief financial officer Jon Moeller said was a projected 2% growth. Speaking on a call to investors, Moeller said that not only had buying levels gone up, but consumers were actually using more products – because, for example, they are cleaning their homes more frequently and doing laundry more often.

"It’s trite and overused, but we really do expect to come out of this stronger than we went into it," he said, while acknowledging the crisis posed complex challenges to P&G, like all businesses.

Unlike many other companies, Moeller said P&G would not "pull back" on its marketing. "There’s more media consumption occurring right now than in the last three to four years, so changing that model doesn’t really make sense," he said.

"There is a big upside here in terms of reminding consumers of the benefits they’ve experienced on our brands and how they have helped them meet their families’ needs – that’s why it’s not the time to go off air."

P&G’s total sales for the three months were up 5% to $17.2bn (£13.8bn). Net earnings were up 7% to $2.96bn.

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