Celebrating 65 years of Sorbent

12 Feb 2018

Sorbent – the iconic Australian household brand – celebrates 65 years 


Renowned for its TV advertisements featuring rising Australian celebrities


The iconic and still proudly Australian manufactured toilet and facial tissue brand Sorbent has turned 65.


As one of Australia’s most enduring and loved brands, Sorbent is renowned for its famous jingle and television advertisements featuring many well-known Australian actors and celebrities.


The toilet tissue became a household name overnight with its first national TV commercial in 1956, the same year television was introduced to Australia. Sorbent is the first crepe toilet tissue in Australia and was sold in single 1-ply rolls wrapped in paper and printed with the Sorbent brand name and promoted as Soft and Strong - the Giant Economy Roll.


Many Australians remember the ‘Sorbent kid’ Matthew Krok, and TV advertisements with Ita Buttrose, cricket legend Merv Hughes, tennis stars Todd Woodbridge and youngest World’s #1 player Lleyton Hewitt, and a rising young comedian, Magda Szubanski. 


“The catchy Sorbent jingle, featured in our very first commercial, was even considered Australia’s unofficial national anthem in the 1990s,” said Angela Thorpe, Marketing Manager Consumer Tissue at Asaleo Care.


A lot has changed since Sorbent was first launched in 1952, but true to its original heritage, the brand’s toilet and facial tissue is still manufactured in Melbourne at Box Hill.


“We’re proud to have celebrated 65 years of manufacturing Sorbent. Over the years, Asaleo Care has continued to invest in the brand to keep pace with changing Australian values and lifestyles. In 2015, the Company invested $65 million in new technology at the Box Hill site. We’re looking forward to the next 65 years!” said Thorpe.



Historical brand facts:

  • The post-war economic boom and the rapid growth of self-service food markets ensured the Sorbent brand was integral to Australia’s retail revolution of the 1950s.
  • The brand name Sorbent was derived from the word ‘absorbent’ a key product attribute.
  • Sorbent was first priced at 16 cents a roll when sold nationally in 1953.
  • Until the early 1950s, toilet paper was a personal product kept under the counter and sold discretely by Australian pharmacies and news agents.
  • Sorbent toilet tissue was the first absorbent tissue, compared to the hard, non-absorbent products available in the early 1950s.
  • By the 1950s, Sorbent was an umbrella brand for paper towel, lunch wrap, greaseproof paper and facial tissue.
  • Celebrities who starred in Sorbent television commercials include Shane Bourne, Ita Buttrose, Merv Hughes, Leyton Hewitt, Magda Szubanski, Shawn Cosgrove, Todd Woodbridge, Lawrence Mooney, and Wally Masur.