"CNBC Titans: Procter & Gamble": Restoring Faith in American Ingenuity
When I was a kid, an old friend of my mom’s came by the house. She was handing out flyers telling people to boycott products by Procter & Gamble.
Though she meant well, she was spreading the vicious, untrue rumor that P&G was run by Satanists (a rumor I would hear several more times during my life). I remember that my mom politely listened to her and looked over the list of products she was supposed to boycott. But when she left, I remember my mom saying “I can’t give up my Tide. Or my Crest. Or my Bounty.”
And that’s when I realized just how many products Procter & Gamble, based just two and a half hours away in Cincinnati, makes. I became fascinated with the company and my mom and I made it almost a game to discover all of the products we used that were made by P&G—including two of my favorite soap operas at the time.
I admit I’m still fascinated by P&G and I purchase many of their products every day. Tide, Bounty, Charmin, and Duracell are found all over my house. So I was pretty excited to hear that Procter & Gamble was getting the “CNBC Titans” treatment.
The all-too-brief “Titans” hour is jampacked with tidbits about the company that was founded in the 1830s by an English candle maker and an Irish soap maker. There’s the origin of several of their biggest brands, including Ivory, Tide, Crisco and their biggest brand, Pampers. But not everything has been successful and the hour does not shy away from failures including the entire elimination of a product line that may have led to dozens of deaths and, of course, that pesky Satanist rumor that finally forced the company to change its logo.
The company’s history is told through past and present people on the P&G frontlines, including former CEOs John Pepper and A.G. Lafley and current CEO Bob McDonald.
As I said, the episode is way too short for my taste because I could have heard the origin stories of all 300 P&G brands. But the hour does a great job of hitting the highlights—and the lowlights—to give you a great picture of the company that has honestly changed the way all of us live our lives.
If you have any P&G products in your home—and there’s a good chance you do since every day four billion people around the world use at least one of them—you should watch this hour. Not only will it teach you about the company whose products you purchase, but it will also restore your faith in good old American ingenuity.
“CNBC Titans: Procter & Gamble” premieres Thursday, July 7th at 9 p.m. on CNBC. The show will repeat the same night at 10 p.m., Midnight and 1 a.m…