BEAUTY CARE

Dr. Fresh Tooth Talk Tour educates kids on dental health

BY Antoinette Alexander

LOS ANGELES Dr. Fresh, the maker of the FireFly toothbrush, is aiming to educate students in Southern California elementary schools through its Tooth Talk Tour.

The tour, which kicked off in late 2007 in Southern California, visiting schools in many underserved communities, is expected to expand to additional schools in the coming months.

Schools participating in the tour receive a visit from the FireFly, the “flashy” character that has become the emblem of the Dr. Fresh approach to brushing. The FireFly appears at assemblies for grades K-5. After each assembly, every child attending receives a gift bag that includes a tooth brushing chart and a FireFly toothbrush.

“Not all of our families have access to adequate oral care and even the purchase of a toothbrush can be a hardship for them,” stated Debbie Worchell, a third grade teacher at Camellia Avenue School in North Hollywood. “Dental disease is high on the list of reasons for missed school, so as educators we are grateful to have a resource like this.”

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L’Oreal Group posts Q1 gain, but finds difficulties in North America

BY Antoinette Alexander

PARIS The L’Oreal group posted a sales increase of 2.1 percent for the first quarter, but faced some hurdles in North America, where the environment proved to be “exceptionally difficult.”

“In North America, after an exceptional fourth-quarter 2007, we had been anticipating a lackluster first quarter; in fact, it turned out to be more difficult because of lower footfall in department stores and larger than expected inventory reductions by our distributors,” stated Jean-Paul Agon, chief executive officer. “We are confident in our ability to accelerate our growth over the coming quarters thanks to favorable launch phasing, better prospects in North America and continuing dynamism in the other zones. We are, therefore, able to confirm our annual like-for-like growth target range of 6 percent to 8 percent.”

In North America, the consumer products division recorded negative growth reflecting a 2007 comparison base boosted by the launch of Nutritioniste by Garnier, and a very sluggish marketing combined with strict inventory management by distributors.

However, the beauty company noted that it strengthened its leadership in makeup given the success of Bare Naturale and Infallible Lip by L’Oreal Paris, and the launch of Mineral Power from Maybelline.

In facial care, Nutritoniste by Garnier is achieving strong sell-through growth thanks to the successful launch of Skin Renew Anti-Sun Damage.

The company expects launch phasing to be more favorable in the second quarter.

Total sales increased 2.1 percent to 4.359 billion euros ($6.96 billion). Like-for-like the increase in sales was 5.1 percent.

The Body Shop, which has 2,442 stores in 59 countries, posted like-for-like sales growth of 7.4 percent. Retail sales increased 6.4 percent, with a comparable store base, the increase in sales totaled 1.9 percent. All of the geographic zones, except North America, made a solid start to the year, according to the company, with particularly strong performances in Russia, Romania, Thailand, Malaysia, Sweden and the United Arab Emirates.

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MAC tapped as official makeup brand for the British Academy Television Awards

BY Antoinette Alexander

LONDON MAC Cosmetics has announced that it is the official makeup brand for the British Academy Television Awards, sponsored by Pioneer, and is set to glamorize the nominees, presenters and actresses for the event.

Between April 18 and 20, MAC makeup artists from the MAC Pro Team will be on hand in the MAC Beauty Suite at The Landmark Hotel or via a one-on-one “at home” appointment to offer their services to VIPs.

Celebrities who receive the MAC experience will receive a “touch up kit” to maintain their look and for touch ups at the awards ceremony on April 20.

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