By  on March 9, 2007

BOCA RATON, Fla. — In just two short years, Pamela Bailey, president and chief executive officer of the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association, and Marc Pritchard, CTFA's chairman and president of global strategic planning at Procter & Gamble, have turned the focus of CTFA's annual meeting around by 180 degrees from a preoccupation mostly with Beltway regulatory politics to a clear-eyed focus on consumers and their concerns about product safety.

"Over the last year, CTFA has been building a much more robust and proactive global strategies program to better support the important global market opportunities for CTFA members and their consumers," said Bailey, addressing the audience at the meeting's opening session. The conference was held Feb. 28 to March 2 at the Boca Raton Resort and Club here. "We seek to be the force that an industry of our size and importance to the global economy should be."

And the results are showing. This year's conference boasted a 25 percent increase in attendance — 183 active members, compared with last year's 146, and 346 associate members, mostly from the publishing industry — and buzz about its speakers, including a rousing Q&A session with William Lauder, president and chief executive officer of the Estée Lauder Cos.; a panel on High-Touch Marketing moderated by Professor Stephan Kanlian of the Fashion Institute of Technology, and speakers on challenges to international trade, including REACH and the European Union's Seventh Amendment. The active member spike is particularly noteworthy, said Bailey, because active membership is open to only manufacturers and suppliers, not the gaggle of publishers and beauty editors who also attend the meeting.

The organization has also formulated the Consumer Commitment Code, formalizing and documenting the many product safety practices already in place at most companies. "The Code also contains new practices, such as the Safety Information Summary Program, which gives the [Food and Drug Administration] access to safety information beyond the requirements of the law." Pritchard noted that 100 percent of beauty companies with a member on CTFA's board have already signed the Code, and challenged each of the companies in attendance to do the same. "We ask that each of you sign the code to demonstrate your company's commitment to safe and effective products for consumers," he said.

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