The big news of the week is that Unilever has bought Dermalogica. It’s not so much of a surprise really given that Unilever is clearly adding to its portfolio of skincare brands, most recently with REN (which was a surprise!) and Kate Somerville. You always know if an independent brand goes quiet for a while that something is afoot. Twitter feedback varies between a complete disaster for Dermalogica and great news for Dermalogica. It’s clear that Dermalogica needs a boost – it used to be absolutely the go-to brand, but in recent years it’s lost its footing somewhat and I seem to remember that it has something to do with distribution. There was a time when Dermalogica was widely available on sites such as BeautyExpert.co.uk and then the brand brought in a silly rule that people shopping anywhere other than Dermalogica.co.uk could only put Dermalogica in their basket – so they couldn’t shop multiple brands from a multiple brand site. Which pretty much spelled the death of availability, because who is going to go shopping twice at the same site!
On a more serious note, price fixers beware! We know it goes on, but Belgium has recently put their foot down and asked 18 retailers and manufacturers to stump up between them a staggering EU174m for a ‘coordinated price increase’ at retail level back in 2007. Hands up L’Oreal, Colgate-Palmolive, P&G and Unilever to name a few in the manufacturer category and Makro and Intermarche amongst several at retail level.
Unbelievably, YouTube handed over the YouTube Lush URL to Lush Cosmetics, even though it’s been owned by a tuber called Matthew Lush for ten years. Matthew Lush has almost a million fans on YouTube, and Lush Cosmetics, the big friends of everyone including the world have kept very quiet on the subject. Not like them and rather mean, too. This kind of stuff is literally the thing that keeps bloggers and vloggers awake at night – you think it could never happen… and then it does. It’s something to do with Google introducing custom URLs and the algorithm automatically giving the URL over to Lush the soap. If you type in www.youtube/lush, Lush cosmetics appears where Matthew Lush’s channel used to show. It appears to be up to Lush to hand it back.
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In my experience that is very much something Lush would do. They are – in my opinion – ruthless retailers…
Hear hear!!! Unethical in the extreme its a miracle they have a reputation as ethical retailers and employers.
Well, I now know not to try anything from that brand…
How unfortunate. I used to really like Lush, but now I’m having serious second thoughts.
I LOVE these posts Jane. Brands are sometimes so cagey about their ultimate parent companies (I wonder why) and so always good to hear when something’s afoot. I’m a big REN fan so will be interested to see the effect on the brand. As long as the formulations don’t change then I don’t really mind who owns it! I think Unilever’s strategy is demonstrative of an overall upward trend in skincare – I think women are starting to think more about their faces and less about their feet (i.e. more serums less shoes).
My biggest concern is that Unilever is listed by cruelty cutter as testing on animals; therefore by that thinking, any brand they acquire is no longer animal friendly.
Lush have done dubious things before. I’m willing to bet they asked YouTube for the URL and won’t be handing it back.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-26230867 was only last year, and they think it’s acceptable to make a personal attack against a named human being even after they get what they want.
interesting read. I mean, really?
“Earlier this month, cosmetics company Lush won a high-court battle against Amazon over the internet giant’s use of the word “lush” to sell rival cosmetics on the shopping portal.
In retaliation, Lush has trademarked the name “Christopher North”, which is the name of the Amazon.co.uk managing director, and has created a new shower gel named after him with the unflattering tagline “rich, thick and full of it”.”
Honestly? That’s just… erm.. childish!
Oh wow that is terrible for the Youtuber! Do they transfer over his followers?
Erin | Erin and Katherine Talk Beauty
If LUSH asked for that URL, it’s really a new low.
I actually have been watching matthew’s vids for quite some while and quite like them, thus displeased that lush did that. Or maybe lush asked for matthew’s permission first, so on the fence about this. Also mixed feelings regarding unilever snatching up Kate S.
Shame on Lush – thanks for mentioning this as I was not aware. Really puts me off from the brand.
Love love these beauty news posts. exactly what a real beauty lover wants to see. You give true original content like the ‘old’ days. Dont stop! Xx
As I’m all for supporting independent brands rather than multinationals I’m sad to see yet another one swallowed up by the giants…….. Plus, so many of them test on animals & use cheap, petroleum-based chemicals………
A few years back I enquired about using Dermalogica as an independent MUA and therapist at a trade show. I queued for 2 hours, trying products and talking to other therapists etc, to then be told “we do not work with independents, only salon based.” Gutted. I do agree they have lost their way and have made themselves very elitist.
Very bad research on Lush side, you would think they would do some research first before? I do feel for the vlogger, but then doesn’t it work the other way?
Belgium’s move is pretty in keeping with the general retail philosophy there. Not only is loss-leading (more relevant to food items than beauty) outlawed, so is selling at only a very small profit margin. This Economist article reveals more: http://www.economist.com/node/10430246 (it’s old so the laws may have changed slightly but as far as I’m aware loss-leading is still outlawed). It really reveals a gulf in perceptions about capitalism, I think
If Lush wanted the url, why didn’t they just make Matthew a fair value offer for it? Or did they?