The Body Shop, MTV Do Scent to Raise Funds for AIDS
LONDON — The Body Shop has teamed up with MTV Networks International to launch an HIV and AIDS fund-raising and awareness campaign called Spray to Change Attitudes.
The initiative, which includes the sale of a cobranded fragrance, will support the Staying Alive Foundation, an MTVNI-run charity offering grants to people fighting the spread of the disease among their peers and in their local communities. The campaign also includes an educational initiative targeting young people through advertisements on MTVNI channels and promotional materials in The Body Shop stores.
The project is music to the ears of Anita Roddick, founder of L’Oréal-owned The Body Shop who now acts as a consultant for the brand and is a longtime activist for social and environmental issues. She noted that more than 50 percent of the five million people infected with HIV last year were between the ages of 15 and 24.
“We created the Spray to Change Attitudes campaign to create understanding, knowledge and awareness, to fight the stigma, to change attitudes and break taboos about HIV,” she said during a conference call in London Tuesday. “We are doing this by raising funds to support the work of the Staying Alive Foundation, which supports projects developed by and delivered by young people to raise HIV and AIDS awareness among their peers around the world.”
From Jan. 29 through March 30, $8.70 from the sale of each bottle of Rougeberry, a limited-edition fragrance, will be donated to the charity. Roddick said the effort should raise about $500,000. The eau de toilette, which will retail for 8 pounds in the U.K., or $15.87 at current exchange, features The Body Shop and MTV logos on its packaging. (The scent, sans MTV insignia, will become part of The Body Shop’s permanent portfolio.)
“The Spray to Change Attitudes campaign is the Staying Alive Foundation’s largest fund-raising collaboration to date,” said Bill Roedy, vice chairman of MTV Networks and chairman of the foundation.
Roedy added that in addition to raising funds, the effort has a pedagogical slant.
“From leaflets in stores to cohosted launch events to promotions to specially created ads, MTV and The Body Shop are harnessing their collective power as global brands to disseminate global HIV prevention messages as well as further activities at the grassroots level,” he said.
The companies created adverts featuring the Rougeberry bottle to be shown on MTVNI channels, which include MTV and VH1, worldwide. Information will be disseminated with on-air news pieces, competitions and associated Web sites. Leaflets will be distributed in The Body Shop’s 2,067 doors worldwide, where in-store displays will also promote the campaign. Celebrity spokesmen and women will also be involved.
“This will help prevent further HIV infection through education,” said Roedy. “There is no cure for AIDS, as we all know, and there is no vaccine, so it’s education that’s the current vaccine for this epidemic. Education can actually prevent the spread of HIV and it can actually save lives.”
Roedy and Roddick said collaborating on the campaign was an obvious choice since both firms’ customers are affected by the spread of HIV and AIDS.
“By working together, we are stronger,” said Roddick. “By working together, we have created a unique campaign that ensures that the message reaches a global audience of millions around the world on MTV and through more than 2,000 stores of The Body Shop in 44 countries across the world from Australia to the U.S.”
“It’s a match made in heaven,” said Roedy, adding MTVNI reaches about 1.4 billion people internationally. Roedy and Roddick underscored the importance of businesses becoming involved in philanthropic activities and tapping employee enthusiasm for worthy causes.
Roddick added the initiative should be an example for other companies. “It’s a real lesson for other businesses about finding strategic alliances and a common purpose,” she said. “We have to remind ourselves that AIDS is the worst epidemic in recorded history,” added Roedy. “Every business around the world — whether they’re global or local — can make a difference.”
L’Oréal Upgrades Canadian Plant
L’Oréal Canada is investing $24 million to upgrade its plant in Montreal after it won a worldwide search to produce the SoftSheen Carson hair care product line for the North and South American markets.
Carson is a leading brand that caters to women of color. The investment will allow the plant to increase annual production from its current 155 million units a year, which is mostly exported.
The Montreal plant was selected because of its health, safety and environmental record, according to the company. More than $120 million has been invested in upgrades at the plant in the past seven years. The plant, opened in 1968, currently employs 300 and will add an undetermined amount of new jobs.