By  on January 11, 2008

CHINA BEAUTY: Skin care is driving the prestige beauty market in China, which rang up nearly 5 million yuan, or $618,300 at average exchange, in 2006, according to market estimates. For the first half of last year, skin care generated 71 percent of prestige beauty sales in China, according to The NPD Group, which surveyed 32 stores in six major cities, while makeup accounted for 17 percent of the market and fragrance made up 12 percent of the category. As a whole, the average price of prestige skin care products in China is 503 yuan, or $69.23, NPD stated, adding that antiaging skin care and whitening products are popular. The average price for prestige makeup in China for the first six months of 2007 was 296 yuan, or $40.74. In fragrance, where the average price point was 518 yuan, or $71.30, the top five brands for the first half of last year were Chanel No.5, Dior's J'adore, Lancôme's Miracle, Chanel's Chance and Dior Addict 2.

L'OREAL MEDIA:
L'Oréal transferred its French media buying business to ZenithOptimedia, a unit of Publicis Groupe, on Jan. 1. L'Oréal had previously handled ad buys internally via its L'Oréal Media division. L'Oréal Media personnel will join ZenithOptimedia during the first quarter of 2008, ZenithOptimedia said in a statement. A spokeswoman for L'Oréal declined further comment. ZenithOptimedia has been L'Oréal's media planning and buying partner in more than 15 European countries for two years.

WHITENING UP:
Procter & Gamble is adding another strip to its teeth-whitening arsenal, called Crest Whitestrips Daily Whitening Plus Tartar Protection. The daily-use strip — designed to be worn for five minutes a day — contains pyrophosphate, an ingredient said to help prevent the growth of the tartar-causing agent calcium phosphate crystals. The kit, which contains 38 daily doses, will be available in March for $39.99. The brand first whittled whitening time down to five minutes in March with the launch of Crest Whitestrips Daily Multicare.

DIRECTOR'S CHAIR:
Physicians Formula Holdings Inc. president Jeff Rogers has taken a seat on the company's board. He replaces Craig Frances, M.D., who resigned as director on Jan. 1. Rogers also assumes Frances' prior role as chair of the compensation committee. Board member Sonya Brown will join the compensation committee and take on the role of chair of the nominating and corporate governance committee. Rogers joined the mass market beauty firm in 1991 and has served as president since August 2006.OLAY ADDS BOTANICALS: Olay has launched Botanical Fusion Body Wash, a body wash said to nourish skin in five days. Botanical Fusion is available in three scent formulas: ginger and bergamot, patchouli and rosemary and jasmine. Products are in stores now and sell for $3.99 for 8.4 oz. and $5.99 for 15.2 oz.

MUSICAL CHAIRS:
Colomer USA, a manufacturer of salon personal care and grooming products, has launched a new salon division by merging the American Crew business unit (which comprises the American Crew, MOP and d:fi salon hair care brands) with Professional Systems Group (which comprises the Roux, Abba and Voila salon brands). The salon division is designed to help enhance internal communication and provide better service to the industry. The division is headed by Dan Easton, senior vice president of marketing, and John Mulgrew, who is acting as senior vice president of sales. Colomer USA is a subsidiary of The Colomer Group, with headquarters in Barcelona. Colomer USA has offices in Denver and Jacksonville, Fla.

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