Body Shop Brand: Repositioning to Target the 'Masstige' Segment and Impact of its Acquisition by L'Oréal

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Case Details:

Case Code : MKTG181
Case Length : 25 Pages
Period : 2000-2007
Pub Date : 2008
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : The Body Shop International Plc.
Industry : Beauty care / Cosmetics
Countries : Europe, USA.

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Strange Bedfellows? Contd...

Analysts felt that social activism was not something ancillary to TBS brand, but its essence. Over the years, TBS had built up a base of loyal customers who admired the values the brand stood for. Though there were various allegations of hypocrisy and other serious allegations leveled against it, the company was viewed by and large as a highly ethical company.

On the other hand, L'Oréal's critics saw the company as the face of modern consumerism that tested cosmetics on animals, exploited the sexuality of women, and sold its cosmetics by making women feel insecure. And it did not help that Nestlé owned 26% of L'Oréal.

Nestlé had been severely criticized in the past for its alleged unethical practices and aggressive promotion of baby milk in developing countries.

Many consumers and activists felt that TBS had sold its soul and called for a boycott of the company's products. John Ruane (Ruane), director of Naturewatch,7 said, "Since 1974, the Body Shop have been using animal rights as an emotive marketing tool. Yet they break their own rule in consideration of having a parent company with a less than cruelty-free record.

The money their sales are generating may well end up in the pocket of a shareholder in Japan or the States or in a cosmetic lab where it could be used to fund animal testing. In terms of bedfellows you really couldn't pick a worse company."8...

Excerpts >>

7] Naturewatch is a non-profit animal welfare campaigning organization.

8] "Debate: Flawless Ethics,", 2006.


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