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PROCTER & GAMBLE: AN OPTIMISTIC SCHEME

i William Procter owned a candle-making business; James Gamble owned a soap business. When the two young business owners married sisters, their father-in-law convinced them of a schemeto linktheir businesses together to form a partnership.His justificationwas that a partnership would have a much better chance of surviving the negativebusiness environment that small

5 businesses were experiencing in the United States during the 1930s. In fact, the United States was undergoinga financial crisis. Banks were closing, and there were deep concerns for the economy throughout the country. Despitethese problems and with the resolveof young professionals,they formed a partnership in 1837 and registeredit as Procter & Gamble (P&G). Then they undertookto compete with fourteen other soap and candle-makers in Cincinnati,

10 Ohio.

By 1859, their partnership was one of the largest companies in Cincinnati, with annualsales of $1 million and eighty employees. During the Civil War, the volumeof their business continued to grow because Procter & Gamble won government contracts to supply soap and candles to the military. Subsequently,soldiers took their P&G products home to their families

15 when the war ended in 1865, which contributedto the building of brand recognition. Then in 1879, Procter & Gamble introduced Ivory, the "floating" soap. By 1890, Procter & Gamble had grown into a multimillion-dollar domestic corporationselling more than thirty different commodities.With the invention of the electric lightbulb, candles were phased outin the 1920s, but P&G's research laboratory was coordinatingthe production of one seriesof

20 innovativeproducts after another. Then in the 1930s, Procter & Gamble used radio advertising to accesslisteners of radio soap operas and to maximizeits promotionof consumer products. Today, Procter & Gamble is a global corporation that manufactures and markets more than 300 brands of consumer goods with operations in more than seventy countries. Worldwide sales to over five billion customers totaled approximately$38.1 billion for 1999 according to

25 publishedfinancial documents.Its sales demonstrateits success in imposinga presence of at least one P&G product in every home in America. Open your kitchen cabinets; maybe you will find Crisco or Folgers coffee. Go into your laundry room; there you may see Tide or Bounce.


Essential Academic Vocabulary

How about Crest toothpaste or Charmin in your bathroom? It was also Procter & Gamble that introduced Pampers—the disposable diaper! Not bad for a partnership scheme implementedby 30 two young men at a time of national economic uncertainty.

Adapted from William M. Pride, Robert J. Hughes, and Jack R. Kapoor, Business, 7th ed. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2002), 130.

1. Vocabulary in Context

Determine how the boldface words are used in the reading. Then choose the word or phrase that is closest in meaning.


1. __ Q._ scheme(line 2)



a. plan

b. evidence

c. crime

2.____ link(line 3)

a. create

b. join

c. transfer

3.____ justification(line 3)

a. reason

b. concept

c. conclusion

4.____ resolve(line 7)

a. determination

b. administration

c. interpretation

5.____ undertook(line 9)

a. began

b. shifted

c. interacted


6.____ domestic(line 17)

a. relating to the home

b. relating to pets

c. relating to one's own country

7.____ phased out(line 18)

a. introduced slowly

b. eliminated gradually

c. exported

8.____ promotion(line 21)

a. advertisement

b. promise

c. acquisition

9.____ approximately(line 24)

a. specifically

b. sufficiently

c. roughly

10.____ documents(line 25)

a. resources

b. chapters

c. records


Chapter 7 • Business



2. Reading Comprehension

Getting the Facts

Read the text carefully and match the following dates with corresponding important developments in Procter & Gamble.


1. 2. 3.

4.

5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.


early 1830s a. Procter & Gamble markets its commodities all over the world.

1837 b. A soap with special features was introduced.

1859 c. Candle-making was discontinued.

early 1860s d. Thirty different items were manufactured by Procter &
Gamble.

1865 e. The P&G brand name was given more recognition.

1879 f. Procter & Gamble used the radio as a method of advertising.

1890 g. William Procter and James Gamble married sisters.

1920s h. Procter & Gamble provided the military with its products.

1930s i. Procter & Gamble was registered as a partnership.

early 2000s j. The company had yearly sales of $1 million.


Making Inferences

1. Why do you think a partnership selling soap and candles was successful? In what ways are soap and candles similar?

2. How did Procter & Gamble continue its success after candles were no longer an important commodity?

3. What is a soap opera? What can you infer about the origin of this term?


4. According to the reading, how popular are P&G products in the United States and in other parts of the world?


Well-organized material is easier to learn. Make sure your vocabulary cards or journals are clear and easy to understand.



Essential Academic Vocabulary


3. Dictionary Skills

Study the dictionary entry for domesticldomesticatel domesticity and answer the following questions.

do#mes*tic(da mes'tik) adj. 1.Relating to the family or household: domestic chores. 2. Tame or domesticated. Used of animals: cats and other domestic animals. 3. Produced in or native to a particular country; not foreign or imported: domestic cars. -do*mes'ti*cal*lyadv. do»mes«ti#cate(da mes'tl kat') tr.v. do*mesni»cat»ed, do»mes«ti»cat»ing, do»mes»ti# cates.To train (an animal) to live with or be of use to humans; tame: Human beings domesti­cated cattle long ago. do#mes'ti#cat'edadj. -do^mes'ti'ca'tion n. [U]

do*mes*tlC*i#ty(do' me stis'Ite) n. [U] 1.The quality or condition of being domestic. 2. Home life or pleasure in it: the comforts of domesticity.

1. Give some examples of domestic chores that you dislike doing.

2. Name some animals that ate domesticated.

3. Name several domestic products that are currently being imported to the United States.

4. Identify the major domestic airlines.

5. What are some positive features of domesticity?

6. Which domestic appliances do you find most useful?

7. What kind of work does a domestic do?


Chapter 7 • Business



8. Describe your favorite domestic car.

9. Briefly explain an important current domestic issue in politics.

10. What domestic products made by Procter & Gamble do you use in your daily life?

4. Word Forms


Date: 2015-12-11; view: 1514


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