Some of you may have caught the article in the Guardian Online detailing L’Oreal’s recent conviction of racial bias. I’m in no position to debate whether the conviction was warranted, as I don’t have the full facts of the case. I do find it very surprising for the company as a whole.
Garnier is currently undergoing a rebranding with the new tagline “Take care. Garnier.” This rebranding features many different images of people with someone’s hands holding their face – and many of these images are of non-white people. Certainly, the current image on the Garnier homepage bears that out.
Why? Simply this – Garnier is a mass market, consumer orientated brand, and the mass market contains people who aren’t white. For a business that builds itself on aspiration, it’s important to feature people that represent the consumer body. Wouldn’t you rather buy a product from a happy, smiling person who’s just like you are? Wouldn’t you trust more what they say? The core of aspirational marketing is making it accessible, and that means including people who represent the best of all sections of society. Whether that means an international brand campaign or hostesses for a Fructis Style event, it’s not just the right thing to do – it’s better business.
L’Oreal as a group certainly does take discrimination and equality quite seriously, both in the workforce and its advertising. I would hope that the relevant marketing director has reminded their people of this, both from a social and business standpoint.