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Regulatory Issues Front of Mind

By: Claire Thévenin
Posted: January 31, 2012, from the January 2012 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Currently, in France, the Autorité de Régulation Professionnelle de la Publicité (ARPP) regulates marketing claims made for beauty products under its “cosmetics code.” It includes specific recommendations on anti-aging (that, for example, the action of the product can only be claimed on the appearance of skin and on slimming products—references to weight loss or cellulite are forbidden). The code also focuses on the clear distinction between efficacy tests and satisfaction tests.

Endocrine Disruptors Are Not All Alike

Despite the absence of a real consensus on the definition of endocrine disruptors (ED), they have definitely become major health concerns for consumers. Robert Barouki, professor of biochemistry and director of the Toxicologie Pharmacologie et Signalisation Cellulaire division of Inserm (French National Institute of Health and Medical Research) gave a brilliant presentation on ED, including phthalates and parabens, insisting distinctions be made due to the wide variety of targets, mechanisms of action, and availability of data and results. Regarding parabens, he called for vigilance, adding that they were not the most risky ED but far fewer studies have been conducted compared to BPA or phthalates. He also touched on the “cocktail effect” and the worrying issue of possible health effects even with low dose exposure, which has been demonstrated even with relatively large amounts of data yet to be gathered and assessed.

Marionnaud Renovates Its French Stores

A European leader in selective distribution, Marionnaud has launched an ambitious program to renovate most of its stores in France, where the beauty retailer trails only Sephora in sales.

Marionnaud is employing its three P’s concept (Proximity, Pleasure and Professionalism) to renovate doors to better adjust to changing consumer habits. In 2011, the retailer invested €10 million to modify 70 stores (out of 572), and in a statement, Marionnaud CEO William G. Koeberlé said the results of the renovations were promising. In 2012, renovations for another 100 doors are planned, and 140 will be renovated in 2013. The three P’s concept is being applied to all existing store sizes, from 20- to 900-square meters.

In addition to a traditional selection of beauty brands, Marionnaud retails its own private label and approximately 15 exclusive brands—including Sen, Le Couvent des Minimes (made by L’Occitane), Qiriness, Polaar and Gosh. In addition to products, 254 stores also include a beauty salon.