Danish Group Files Suit Versus L’Oréal
PARIS — The Danish Consumer Council has filed a lawsuit against L’Oréal over one of its hair coloring products.
The council is taking the French cosmetics giant to court after receiving a complaint from a Danish woman who claimed to have developed eczema and itching of the scalp after coloring her hair with L’Oréal Excellence Crème.
A spokesman from the French beauty giant refused to comment on the case.
This is not the first time L’Oréal has been sued for damages allegedly caused by its hair dyes: The Council says it has registered 38 cases in Denmark connected to the brand’s hair coloring products.
The L’Oréal spokesman emphasized that “customer safety remains the number-one priority” for the company, and that all its hair color products comply with the European Union’s strict regulations on such items.
The Danish Consumer Council, however, would like to see those regulations tightened; it is calling on the European Union to ban all dangerous substances in hair-dye products.
“[These products] contain a vast number of different chemical substances, many of which are not regulated, that is, their effects on human beings have been far from clarified,” said Sonny Kristoffersen, the council’s senior legal adviser for consumers’ test cases.
Kristoffersen said products should include warnings about such substances, as well as what percentage of substances they contain.
The spokesman at L’Oréal said the company started placing warnings on the packaging of its hair dyes last year, reenforcing those already contained in the inside instruction leaflets.
— Jennifer Joan Lee
Hain Acquires Zia Cosmetics
NEW YORK — The Hain Celestial Group is continuing its efforts to become a natural beauty powerhouse with the acquisition of Zia Cosmetics Inc., the company announced Wednesday.
Zia, a 20-year-old natural beauty company, based in San Francisco, reported 2004 annual sales of less than $10 million, which were generated by its line of moisturizers, cleansers and color cosmetics under the Zia Natural Skincare brand. Zia products are sold in natural food retailers such as Whole Foods and Wild Oats.
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Fran Strachan, president and founder of Zia, will join Hain as vice president, business development, a new role. Andrew Jacobson, general manager of personal care for Hain, will oversee Zia. Details of the deal, which commenced Monday, were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to be accretive to Hain’s 2006 fiscal year.
Also under Hain’s personal care umbrella — a new division — is Jason Natural Cosmetics, a brand Hain acquired in 2004, marking its entry into beauty. Sales for Jason neared $20 million in 2003. For now, Zia will operate out of San Francisco but future plans could have the company merging with Jason’s headquarters in Culver City, Calif. Hain, which makes Celestial Seasonings tea and Terra chips, is based in Melville, N.Y.
— Andrea Nagel
Trappmann Tapped for Juvena
BERLIN — Dirk Trappmann has been named president and chief executive officer of the Juvena/La Prairie Group.
Trappmann, 44, succeeds Harald Stolzenberg, 62, who retired after 15 years as president and ceo of the Swiss prestige beauty care company, which is a division of the Beiersdorf Group. The Juvena/La Prairie Group includes the selective brands La Prairie, Juvena of Switzerland, Marlies Möller Beauty Hair Care and SBT Skin Biology Therapy.
During Stolzenberg’s tenure, Juvena/La Prairie quintupled operating profit and increased group turnover by 160 percent to 289 million Swiss francs, or $239.3 million at current exchange rates. He will continue to consult for the company for the next six months, a spokeswoman said.
Trappmann was most recently managing director of Beiersdorf Thailand and Indochina. He began his career in sales at Procter & Gamble and moved to Beiersdorf Germany in 1992, where he was later appointed marketing director of international business at Beiersdorf International.
— Melissa Drier