IN THE COURTROOM: A hearing is set for Sept. 3 and a trial is expected toward year-end in the case pitting Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, the granddaughter of L’Oréal’s founder, against photographer François-Marie Banier. It is the latest twist in an ongoing saga, which began in December 2007, when Bettencourt Meyers lodged a complaint in the public prosecutor’s office of Nanterre, France, for “exploitation of weakness.” This followed her mother Liliane Bettencourt giving Banier gifts of almost 1 billion euros, or $1.4 billion at current exchange, in the form of financial investments and artwork. Bettencourt Meyer’s lawyer Olivier Metzner has begun proceedings in Nanterre’s criminal court.

NEW MAN BEHIND MATRIX: Colin Walsh has been named the new vice president and general manager of Matrix U.S., effective July 20. Walsh, most recently vice president of Marketing and Education for Maly’s West/Saloncentric, L’Oréal’s distribution subsidiary, has been with L’Oréal since 2000 in various sales, marketing, product development and distribution roles. As general manager, he will be responsible for strengthening the brand’s development within the firm’s distribution network and building connections with hairdressers. “His diverse background and career successes in brand development, sales and distribution have prepared him well for this exciting new opportunity,” said Pat Parenty, president, U.S. Brands Professional Products Division at L’Oréal. Walsh replaces Francesca Raminella, who left the firm earlier this year.

ALL-IN-ONE: A desire for simplicity has helped usher in grooming products that offer multiple benefits in one formulation — think shampoo and conditioner in the same bottle. Now, 3-in-1 products are becoming all the rage among men: Nivea for Men has introduced Active 3, a body wash, shampoo and shave gel all in one bottle (8.4 oz., ranging in price from $4.49 to $5.99 depending on the retail outlet). Also Pert Plus for Men has introduced its own 3-in-1 product, which combines shampoo, conditioner and body wash (12 oz. for roughly $5). Could 4-in-1 be that far down the road?

L’OREAL TAPS DEL CASTILLO: Starting this fall, L’Oréal will begin running TV and print ads featuring its new spokeswoman, Mexican actress Kate del Castillo. Del Castillo has appeared in numerous productions, including the film “Under the Same Moon,” the play “Blackbird,” and is currently featured in the Showtime TV show “Weeds.” Del Castillo will be the new face for Excellence hair color. “With her luminous beauty, inner strength and kind spirit, Kate makes a wonderful addition to the L’Oréal Paris brand and embodies the ‘Because I’m Worth It’ philosophy,” said Karen T. Fondu, president of the L’Oréal Paris division of L’Oréal USA.

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