Seventh Generation Hopes Relaunch Campaign Will Fix Its Problems

Last Updated Nov 4, 2008 12:30 PM EST

2169592075_68ba0333ed_m.jpgSeventh Generation, the eco-friendly detergent maker, is spending $1 million on a redesign of its products and an ad campaign to promote them. A story in Brandweek notes that unlike Tom's of Maine and Burt's Bees, this green brand is "not part of an effort to be acquired."

This isn't surprising. Clorox is beating the pants off the brand in the green market, raising a question of whether there's a need for this brand to exist. More importantly, if you've bought Seventh Generation's dishwashing machine liquid you'll know there's a problem with it: It doesn't work. Glassware has to go through two or three cycles before they come out clean; brown coffee and tea stains get baked on to the inside of mugs.

I know this because I bought a bottle myself before going back to P&G's Cascade, a brand that is only "green" in the sense that that's the color of the bottle it comes in.

Seventh Generation appears to have reached the stage that Tom's did in the mid 1990s, before it was also acquired by P&G. Its products were well advertised and distributed, but their performance left much to be desired. If you ever threw out a favorite T-shirt during those years because of stains left on it by Tom's deoderant, you'll know exactly what I mean.

This is one company that might want to focus on getting its products right before burning all that money on ads.