I can’t not say something about a press release that I received this morning. PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) in the US have purchased stock in Revlon to try and force them to reveal whether they pay for tests on animals in China. Revlon have, according to the release, refused to answer the question.
What this now means for Revlon, with PETA US as shareholders, is that they may have their hand forced not by the consumer, not by animal rights groups but by legitimate shareholders in their company who have the right to attend shareholder meetings in the boardroom.
It’s the first time I’ve seen something like this so am following the story avidly. Revlon have had a ban in place on “poisoning animals” since 1989, but subesquent questioning on whether they are in fact, complying with Chinese regulations to use and pay for animal tests aren’t answered. Which would, of course, mean they aren’t a non-animal testing company. As it happens, since the big u-turn from Urban Decay on their decision to go into China, this topic has become very much a focus for the beauty community.
Bizarrely, if brands such as Avon, Mary Kay and Estee Lauder instead put significant amounts of money PETA’s way instead of to animal testing in China, they’d actually speed up the process of PETA’s scientists getting cruelty free tests accepted by China whose approval of the first non-animal tests for cosmetic ingredients is currently pending.
You know, if you have a stack of money, put it the right way. Beauty bloggers and the internet mean that consumers are far more knowledgeable than they ever used to be – it’s more or less impossible for any brand to operate in ways that we cannot find out about – so stop pretending we don’t know! We do! A significant number of beauty consumers will actively not purchase products with a history past or present of animal testing so er… instead of paying for testing, pay for these consumers to come back by funding alternative testing. Is it me, or is this just simple economics? Don’t say I have to run Revlon now.. ;-)))
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Well, I remember seeing Revlon being sold in Carrefour in mainland 10 years ago (I think it’s still there) although they have a different range (hair care, body care, plumping lip gloss)so I guess they are not really cruelty-free. But on the other hand, I am not sure about what they do with the product that are sold in US and Europe though.
Now this is an interesting development. I can imagine Revlon directors are feeling rather red faced now there is no where to hide. This is the way to change not from voicing on the outside but under their skin close up. I think the general blogger community is now turning away from brands who even a whiff of cruelty scandal about them.
Once again you prove why your are still my fave blogger xx
Very interesting! I look forward to seeing how this pans out! xx
I wish it was that simple. A significant number of beauty consumers will still purchase products with a history past or present or future of animal testing. Sending money PETA’s way does not generate profits, paying for the tests in China, however, does precisely this. Shareholders are powerless unless they own a majority of shares, so – sorry for the pessimistic point of view – I think it’s more of a PR move on PETA’s side rather than a real threat for Revlon. Which is a shame, of course.
I’m definitely going to be paying attention to how this pans out, too. It’s interesting – a few months ago, I emailed Revlon asking whether they were currently or had plans to sell in China. Usually, whether the company tests or not, they at least respond, but I never got a response from Revlon. Seems to go along with the policy of literally not answering the question.
I agree with Anonymous. The directors of a company are supposed to act in its best interests and in accordance with the company’s constitution. It usually emphasises making profits for all of the shareholders.
Given the sensitivity of the issue and the possible impact that disclosure of any information (whatever it happens to show) is likely to have on profits, I would have thought that Revlon’s management might feel justified in refusing to disclose any information. It strikes me as damned either way.
After all, would PETA believe any disclosure that showed that Revlon had complied with its previously stated position? And if Revlon annoys Chinese consumers and the Chinese state by implicitly criticising China’s regulatory position, then doesn’t it potentially lose more than it gains in pacifying PETA?
This is a great move by PETA but in reality no surprise that Revlon, Avon, Lauder and L’Oreal are in China and therefore condoning these practices. They are brands that activists and fans of natural, local products have avoided for years. The real shock behind the China story is the brands that do it despite their green and natural claims. We’ve seen L’Occitane pulled through the mill this year but what about whiter than white brands like: Elemental Herbology, E’SPA, Elemis, Aromatherapy Associates, Aesop and Pevonia? All natural, holistic spa brands with strong environmental policies that have sold their morals down the Yangtze and turned a blind eye to practices that include their products blinding bunny eyes. At least we know what to expect from the Corporates – it’s the ones that are flagrantly boasting their ethical policies whilst wilfully allowing their products to be trialled on animals that should be exposed. Come on PETA and bloggers – get investigating. It takes minutes to find out who really is selling in China.
Since the whole Urban Decay hoo-ha it’s made me really think about my buying choices. Before I had a vague idea of who was cruelty free and who wasn’t, but it was nowhere near the full picture. I only found out a few days ago on the PETA website that Avon tests on animals, so I won’t be buying anything from them again. I don’t think there’s any need for animal testing in this day and age and I certainly don’t want animals tested on in my name. I’ll be swotting up on who’s on the PETA ‘doesn’t test’ list so I can make better choices in future.
It’ll be interesting to see how this one pans out, but one thing’s for sure – this is the age of accountability and people will not stand for PR bullshit and spin when the truth is out there at the click of a few buttons.
This may not be the PC thing to say but honestly I for one am not bothered if Revlon have to confirm to local legislations and use animal testing for products in China. Shareholders are interested in profits and we as consumers should be interested in good quality products for a fair price. You can always vote by buying another product. Remember companies need to make money to employ people and all consumers are someone’s employee. With the western world economies slowing, businesses have no option but to trade in growth sectors such as Latin America and China to keep tiheir business solvent and employing people. I am more concerned with China’s views on human rights than I am animal testing.
I agree with Ellie and am suprised about the brands that do allow their products to be tested. I stopped using L’Occitane soaps and hand creams. I might have to do the sale with the other brands. Its funny, but ive been looking at websites and all have a strict policy against animal testing. it should be illegal. cant there be a law that states if you ship to China you have to declare “we condone the testing of our products on innocent animals” on product packaging.
This is such an interesting move by PETA – very smart. Just as with everything else, there are bound to be consumers out there who wouldn’t mind animal testing so I really don’t think there are any valid justifications for hiding your position – first from the consumers, and now from investors. It’ll be interesting to see how this progresses.