With the announcement that L’Oréal SA (a Lucire client) is acquiring the Body Shop plc, Chris MacDonald’s reaction was to check if the French company had an ethics’ policy. He wrote, ‘L’Oreal’s public image, at least, includes no such commitment’ to social responsibility—making him wonder if the two companies had compatible values.
The French are particularly good at managing individual brands, even brands of conﬂicting characters. The Body Shop may well ﬂourish under the L’Oréal group, because of its resources, and my dealings with the company show that it combines administration, it will streamline promotions, but it will leave the character of the brands intact.
The problem is that the Body Shop has been a model of CSR, and L’Oréal is not, even if it has CSR practices. Will some of the English company’s activities be at odds with its new parent? Will they be reined in? Because the Body Shop’s brand comes from its vision and the activities that it inspires.
If L’Oréal does change the Body Shop’s activities, then it will turn its new brand into a joke—and CSR will be another “lip service” marketing method with little real-world relevance. Somehow, I think one of the most proﬁtable beauty companies in the world won’t be that unwise: every parent is allowed one renegade child.
Plus the optimist in me says this could be the start of CSR practices making their way across the L’Oréal group. Because you’re worth it.
Del.icio.us tags: L’Oréal | The Body Shop | social responsibility | CSR Posted by Jack Yan, 08:05
Update: Antony Mayﬁeld blogs that the reaction has not been positive (though it depends on how the questions were asked).Post a Comment
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