Monday, August 25, 2008

Body Shop Sells Out

The slogan of L'Oreal, the smellies, face paint and hair soap company, is 'Because you're worth it.' The slogan of the environmental movement is, to a rough approximation, 'Oh no you're not.' Which makes it all the stranger that L'Oreal owns Body Shop. Now, under this ethically contradictory ownership, Body Shop is going to advertise globally for the first time. This is a bad move, partly because it will draw attention to L'Oreal's animal testing etc and partly because I am now convinced that advertising does not work. This came to me while watching an American TV ad for a bank that had merged with another bank. The ad said that 'with' was a wonderful word and, therefore, Bank A being 'with' Bank B was a good thing. This was deliriously stupid. But inventing a virtue and attaching it to any old random product is now a standard advertising trope. Its prevalence means that it cannot possibly be effective. A slogan that said simply, 'Bank A and Bank B have merged' would be cheaper and more helpful. Body Shop did not need advertising because it was itself an ad, its message was an important as its products. Now it's 'core values' are to be flaunted and will, as  result, end up being no more persuasive than the idea that 'with' is a word possessed of intrinsic virtue.


  1. 'Its' not 'it's.' Well, I mean, if you're gonna talk about 'with.'

  2. Another good'un in the world of business hype is 'reverse takeover' or sodomizing your competitor as it's more commonly known. L'Oreal is probably based in an arch underneath the Paris ring road at Clinancourt and looks like the basement of Isengard, as is Laboratoire Garnier.
    To have any chance at all of working for them your CV simply has to say 'pretentious'

  3. fcimcl
    I realised on Sunday that I had sat through three back to back L'Oreal ads when watching TV, during a break: wrinkle cream; lipstick; hair dye. Am I worth it? No. Please. Let me hide in the kitchen.

    I was tempted to post on this myself, but you got there first, Mr A.

    Actress Andie McDowell shimmies on screen with a big frown on her face, claiming "deep set wrinkles". Later she says her face is "softer" after appliance of the cream promoted, but she is NO LONGER FROWNING. Above the eyebrows looks botoxed in all captions.

    Are all women to be declared as fools? Have we no intelligence? Is L'Oreal run by a set of (not so closet) misogynists?

    Totally apart from the advertising frenzy - because I just happened to come across it on the shelf and on offer, months ago - hair dye, iced chocolate works for me. But not because "I'm worth it", nor because another Hollywood actress (ex of Tom Cruise) is trying to sell it to me.

    I am so irritated by "Because I'm worth it". Give me a break and bugger off L'Oreal. My blood pressure needs it. And that's really worth it.

  4. Great comment, Crimeficreader!

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.