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Live from New York: CEW Hosts Newsmaker Forum

By: Nancy Jeffries
Posted: August 5, 2008, from the August 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.
From left, Christophe Maubert, Robertet Fragrances; Carlotta Jacobson, CEW; Susan Arnold, P&G;

From left, Christophe Maubert, Robertet Fragrances; Carlotta Jacobson, CEW; Susan Arnold, P&G; Jill Scalamandre, Chrysallis and CEW chair; Mary Murcko, Women’s Health.

On May 21, Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW) held a newsmaker forum, featuring Susan Arnold, president, global business units, Procter & Gamble, at New York City’s Hilton Hotel. Carlotta Jacobson, president, CEW, welcomed attendees, acknowledging the support of P&G for their time and resources. Christian Maubert, CEO, Robertet Fragrances and Mary Murcko, publisher of Women’s Health, joined Jacobson in welcoming Susan Arnold. “Beauty is an important part of women’s lives, and P&G Beauty has traditionally offered beauty and wellness products trusted by women,” said Murcko.

Jill Scalamandre, CEW chairwoman, moderated the presentation and noted, “Susan oversees 300 plus brands at P&G— 100 of them are in beauty and 23 are $1 billion brands. Over the last five years, Susan has doubled P&G’s business in beauty.”

Arnold replied, “Beauty was natural for P&G. We’ve learned from each of our acquisitions about the design and packaging, and we’ve applied the lessons to drive our beauty business.” In discussing the company’s portfolio, Arnold said, “The breadth of our beauty portfolio is, I think, unparalleled, and our customer understanding is what differentiates us.”

Arnold acknowledged the recent acquisition of hair care brand Frederic Fekkai. “We have a big time pipeline in hair care, and Frederic Fekkai is an excellent match,” she said. Arnold also discussed the success of Clairol’s Root Touch-Ups, and the consistent link between product success and customer understanding, noting that the company’s retail channels encompass prestige, mass and masstige. “What we do is drive brands, rather than drive channels,” she said. “Masstige is a pretty nice place to be. It feels pretty good. If you can deliver in rough economic times, you’re doing pretty well. Beauty can become an affordable luxury.”

While Arnold’s comments touched on skin care, hair care, fragrance and sustainability, her philosophy returned to innovation and investment. “It’s a success cycle. We invested in consumer understanding and innovation. Olay, for example, was on the forefront of starting an interactive dialogue and helped women design the next generation of skin care.