L'Oréal Group is the world's largest cosmetics and beauty company
and is headquartered in the Paris suburb of
- "Loreal" redirects here. This can alse be the
adjective related to lore.
L'Oréal has developed activities in the
field of cosmetics, concentrating on hair
is active in the dermatological
fields. L'Oréal is also the
top nanotechnology patent-holder in
L'Oréal is a listed company, but the founder's daughter Liliane Bettencourt
and the Swiss food
each control over a
quarter of the shares and voting rights.
In 1907, Eugène Schueller
young French chemist
, developed an innovative hair-colour
formula. He called his improved hair dye Auréole
formulated and manufactured his own products, which he then sold to
In 1909, Schueller registered his company, the Société
Française de Teintures Inoffensives pour Cheveux
Hair Dye Company of France" literally "French Society for
Inoffensive Hair Dyes"), the original L’Oréal. The guiding
principles of the company, which eventually became L’Oréal, were
research and innovation in the interest of beauty.
In 1920, the small company employed three chemists. By 1950, the
research teams were 100 strong; that number reached 1,000 by 1984
and is nearly 2,000 today.
L’Oréal got its start in the hair-color business, but the company
soon branched out into other cleansing and beauty products. L’Oréal
currently markets over 500 brands and many thousands of individual
products in all sectors of the beauty business: hair color,
permanents, hair styling, body and skin care, cleansers, makeup and
fragrances. The company's products are found in a wide variety of
distribution channels, from hair salons and perfumeries to hyper -
and supermarkets, health/beauty outlets, pharmacies and direct
has five worldwide research and
development centers: two in France: Aulnay and Chevilly; one in the U.S.: Clark, New Jersey; one in Japan: Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture; and in 2005, one was established in Shanghai , China . A future facility in the US will be in
Heights, New Jersey.
L’Oréal purchased Synthélabo in 1973 to pursue its ambitions in the
pharmaceutical field. Synthélabo merged with Sanofi
in 1999 to become Sanofi-Synthélabo
merged with Aventis
in 2004 to become
On 17 March 2006
L'Oréal made a £
652 million agreed
takeover of ethical cosmetics company The
The company has recently faced discrimination lawsuits in France
related to the hiring of spokesmodels and Institutional racism
. In the UK L'Oréal has
faced widespread condemnation from OFCOM regarding
truth in their advertising and marketing campaigns concerning the
product performance of one of their mascara brands.
video parodies of their advertising campaigns have spoofed their
products and can be viewed on YouTube
search L'Unreal for links to content.
A book by
Monica Waitzfelder, published in French as 'L’Oréal a pris ma
maison' and English as 'L'Oréal stole my house!', details how
L'Oréal, a company claimed to be anti-Semitic by the author, took over the
Waitzfelder home in the German city of Karlsruhe (after the Nazis had engineered the removal of the
family) to make it its German headquarters.
L’Oréal's famous advertising
is "Because I’m worth it". It has recently been replaced
by "Because you're worth it" .
L’Oréal also owns a Hair and Body products line for kids called
, the slogan for which
is "Because we're worth it too".
L'Oréal still tests new ingredients on
, which has led to criticism from Naturewatch
Compassionate Shopping. Following L'Oréal's purchase of The Body Shop
, who previously were against
, The Body Shop
founder Dame Anita Roddick
was forced to defend herself
against allegations of abandoning her principles over L'Oréal's
track record on animal testing. She declared, that her belief in
the power of cosmetics to enhance female beauty was greater than
any concern over animal testing
. As a
result, calls were made for shoppers to boycott The Body Shop
In 1987 L'Oréal and 3 Suisses
Le Club des
Créateurs de Beauté
specializing in mail order sales of
Board of directors
Current members of the board of directors of L’Oréal are: Jean-Paul
Agon, Francisco Basco, Werner Bauer, Liliane Bettencourt
Bettencourt Meyers, Peter
, Charles-Henri Filippi, Xavier Fontanet,
Bernard Kasriel, Marc Lacharrière, Jean-Pierre Meyers, Lindsay
Owen-Jones, Franck Riboud
Roux and Louis
The management committee includes:
- Jean-Paul Agon, Chief Executive Officer
- Laurent Attal, Chief Executive Officer, L’Oréal USA
- Béatrice Dautresme, EVP of Corporate Communications
- Jean-François Grollier, EVP of Research and Development
- Christian Mulliez, EVP of
- Simon Shum Siu-hung, President of Nano-technology Products
- Jean-Jacques Lebel, President of
- Nicolas Hieronimus, President of Professional Products
- Geoff Skingsley, EVP of Human Resources
- Marc Menesguen, President of Luxury Products
As at year-end 2008:
- Breakdown of share ownership: 30.8% by the Bettencourt Family, 29.6% by Nestlé,
3.2% treasury shares, and the remaining 36.4% are publicly
Sales, profits, etc.
In 2003, L’Oréal announced its 19th consecutive year of
double-digit growth. Its consolidated sales was €14.029 bn and net
profit was €1.653 bn. 96.7% of sales derived from cosmetic
activities and 2.5% from dermatological activities. L’Oréal has
operations in over 130 countries, employing 50,500 people, 24% of
which work in France. 3.3% of consolidated sales is invested in
research and development, which accounts for 2,900 of its
employees. In 2003, it applied for 515 patents. It operates 42
plants throughout the
world, which employ 14,000 people.
- Cosmetics sales by division breakdown: 54.8% from consumer
products at €7.506 bn, 25.1% from luxury products at €3.441 bn,
13.9% from professional products at €1.9 bn, and 5.5% from active
cosmetics at €0.749 bn.
- Cosmetic sales by geographic zone breakdown: 52.7% from
Western Europe at €7.221 bn, 27.6%
from North America at €3.784 bn, 19.7%
from rest of the world at €2.699 bn.
In 2007, L’Oréal was ranked 353 in the Fortune Global 500
. The company had
earned $2,585 million on sales of $19,811 million. There were
Joint ventures and minority interests
L’Oréal holds 10.41% of the shares of Sanofi-Aventis, the world's
number 3 and Europe's number 1 pharmaceutical company. The
is a joint venture
in nutritional cosmetics between
L’Oréal and Nestlé; they draw on L’Oréal's knowledge in the fields
and food safety
. Galderma is another joint venture
in dermatology between L'Oréal and Nestlé.
Community involvement and awards
In 2008, L'Oréal was named Europe's top business employer by The
European Student Barometer , a survey conducted by Trendence
that covers 20 European countries and
incorporates the responses of over 91,000 students.
Awards for Women in Science
was established to improve the
position of women in science by recognizing outstanding women
researchers who have contributed to scientific progress.
are a result of a partnership between the French cosmetics company
L'Oréal and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization (UNESCO) and carry a
grant of $100,000 USD for each laureate.
The same partnership awards the UNESCO-L'Oréal International
Fellowships, providing up to $40,000 USD in funding over two years
to fifteen young women scientists engaged in exemplary and
promising research projects.
Claims of racial discrimination in advertising and
11, 2005, the Supreme Court of California ruled that former L'Oréal sales manager Elyse
Yanowitz had adequately pleaded a cause of action for retaliatory
termination under the California Fair
Employment and Housing Act, and remanded the case for
The case arose out of a 1997 incident in which Jack
Wiswall, then the general manager for designer fragrances,
allegedly told Yanowitz to fire a dark-skinned
sales associate despite the
associate's good performance. When Yanowitz refused, Wiswall
pointed to a "sexy" blonde-haired woman and said, "God damn it, get
me one that looks like that." Wiswall retired as president of the
luxury products division of L'Oréal USA at the end of 2006.
In May 2007, L'Oréal was one of several cosmetic manufacturers
ordered by the Therapeutic Goods
in Australia to withdraw advertising regarding
removal capabilities of
In July 2007, the Garnier division and an external employment
agency were fined €30,000 for recruitment practices that
intentionally excluded non-white women from promoting its shampoo,
"Fructis Style". L'Oréal is reported as saying the decision was
"incomprehensible", and would challenge the measure in court.
In July 2007, the British Advertising
attacked L'Oréal for a television advert on
its “Telescopic” mascara
, featuring Penélope Cruz
, stating "it will make your
60% longer." In fact, it only made
the lashes look 60% bigger, by separating and thickening at the
roots and by thickening the tips of the lashes. They also failed to
state that the model was wearing false eyelash
Brands are generally categorized by their targeted markets, such as
the mass, professional, luxury, and active cosmetics markets.
Group has its head office in a building referred to as the "Beauty
Factory" in Clichy,
Hauts-de-Seine, near Paris.
Klawitter of Der Spiegel
"the building, with its brown glazed façade of windows, is every
bit as ugly as its neighborhood." Klawitter added that the facility
"gives the impression of a high-security zone" due to the CCTV
cameras and security equipment. The world's largest hair salon is
located inside the head office building. As of 2005, 90
hairdressers served 300 women, including retirees, students, and
unemployed people, per day; the customers are used as test subjects
for new hair colours.
- 'Hope In a Jar'. (2002-07-22). Retrieved on 11
- 'Naturewatch Compassionate Shopping - L'Oreal fact
file. Accessed August
- "Anita's £652m sell-out", The Independent
Published 18 March 2006. Accessed 8 May 2008.
- UNESCO/L’ORÉAL Co-Sponsored Fellowships for Young
Women in Life Sciences
- Yanowitz v. L'Oréal USA, Inc., 36 Cal. 4th 1028 (2005).
- L'Oréal (UK) Ltd
- Klawitter, Nils. "L'Oréal's Great Bluff." Der Spiegel. 7 March
2005. 1. Retrieved on 27 November 2009.