ANALYSIS: Turtlewax comes out of its shell

For years Turtlewax has kept a low marketing profile - now it needs to work hard buffing up its image. Can Kellogg’s Rob Morgan make the lacklustre company shine?

For years Turtlewax has kept a low marketing profile - now it needs to

work hard buffing up its image. Can Kellogg’s Rob Morgan make the

lacklustre company shine?

Rob Morgan’s switch from cereal giant Kellogg to the car wax company

Turtlewax may appear at first glance to be an odd move.

Kellogg’s marketing chief will be leaving a company with a pounds 70m

marketing budget and a brand presence in millions of UK homes, to take

up the top job of senior managing director with a company that has an

annual advertising spend of only pounds 1.5m.

Yet on closer inspection there are a number of similarities that help

to explain why Morgan was attracted to the challenges facing him at

Turtlewax when he takes up his new job in the new year.

Turtlewax and Kellogg are both large and secretive US corporations. They

both register a high brand awareness and their products are distributed

over a wide range of international distribution markets.

The difference is in the marketing of the product, and that is where

Morgan comes in. Turtlewax has occupied a dominant position in its

market for so long that it has tended to regard advertising as low down

on its list of priorities. Morgan is seen as the man who will give it

more snap, crackle and pop.

Chuck Tornabene, president of consumer and industrial products

worldwide, recruited Morgan for that specific purpose. ‘The area of

sales and marketing does needs attention and if we are to accomplish our

long-term goals then we need more focus,’ he says.

Morgan joined Kellogg in 1987, and has been credited with protecting its

market share from competition such as Cereal Partners and Weetabix. His

marketing skills helped Kellogg claw back its share of the pounds 981m

breakfast cereal market (Datamonitor 1994) that it lost in the 80s.

Kellogg’s products now command more than half of the breakfast cereals


His ascent up the corporate ladder has been meteoric, from category

manager to marketing director in four years. Morgan was destined for

greater things, say company sources, who add that Kellogg is peeved at

losing him.

Morgan, 37, has been brought in over the head of Turtlewax’s present

managing director Roy Line, aged 65. Line will report to Morgan.

‘Roy Line has a wealth of experience and tremendous knowledge. There

are a number of ways his talents can be used in the export or UK arena,’

Turtlewax’s Tornabene explains. ‘That, however, is up to Rob Morgan.’

But why has Turtlewax felt the need to go out and find itself a heavy-

hitter from the marketing field? It certainly does not have the

appearance of a company that is shaky on its feet.

It is the clear leader in the pounds 50m auto aftermarket sector - car

valeting makes up the largest proportion. It has more than 50% of the UK

market and in the 60 countries it operates this figure rises to a mean

average of 68%.

Turtlewax plans to expand into new countries with its portfolio of 64

products. Line, who has 15 years’ experience in the field of car-

cleaning products, would be well qualified to take up a top role in

international development.

Waking up to advertising

While there is ample opportunity for expanding the international side of

the business a different picture is emerging in the UK.

Consumers in emerging markets abroad are more likely to spend their

leisure hours lovingly polishing their new cars than their UK

counterparts. Over here the fall in the number of new users of Turtlewax

products is estimated to be as much as 15% in the past three to five

years. And the allure of products such as Wheel Magic and Rain Kleer may

not be enough to lure a car owner away from the TV or shopping trip.

Turtlewax is beginning to address the issue of the UK market. Earlier

this year it appointed Peter White its first marketing manager. After

reviewing the advertising strategy he switched the pounds 1.5m account

from McCann-Erickson to Manchester agency BDH.

BDH is on the record as saying that it is ‘working on a long-term brand

and business strategy that will result in traditional product

demonstration-type ads but with a much stronger brand dimension.’ The

result will be seen on TV in the spring.

Morgan is likely to want to increase the advertising budget. New

products at a rate of two to four a year will be rolled out to grow the

market and stimulate the car-caring public’s interest.

One insider spelled out Turtlewax’s future. ‘It’s been at the top of the

pile for a long time and although it has not been complacent it has to

take more responsibility for growing the market.

‘Turtlewax is not a docile beast - it just needs a prod to get it moving

a little faster.’


Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now


Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers
Ex-M&S marketing chief Steven Sharp consulting at WPP
Wolff Olins reveals new CEO after Apple poaches Karl Heiselman
Glasgow offers £30,000 prize to best digital idea for 2014 Commonwealth Games
Google's revenues surge but shares drop as it grapples with transition to mobile
Facebook beats Twitter to most 'marketing friendly' social media site crown, says DMA
Fableists believe children like Finn should be outdoors enjoying life
Homebase, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message
Lynx unleashes £9m 'Peace invasion' campaign
Social Brands 100 Youth: Pizza Hut most social youth brand in UK
Cheryl Cole is wild and arresting in new L'Oreal work
Morrisons told not to show alcohol ads during YouTube nursery rhymes
O2 head of brand Shadi Halliwell departs after 23 years at company in restructure
Tesco hit by further sales decline as it turns to digital Clubcard and social network
Branding guru Wally Olins dies aged 83
Duracell short film captures epic Transatlantic voyage
Ash runs Tinder experiment to show smokers are less desirable to opposite sex
British Airways teams up with Gerry Cottle Jnr for summer of rooftop film screenings
Arklu says 'girls can be superheroes too' with doll design competition
Coke enters squash market with Oasis Mighty Drops
Virgin Galactic signs up Land Rover as space flight sponsor
Motorola marketer Andrew Morley departs as Google gears up for sale to Lenovo
US Airways apologises after tweeting obscene image at a customer
Mumsnet admits users' emails and passwords accessed via Heartbleed bug