Sunday, July 22, 2012

Is The Body Shop India selling expired products?

I'm sure a lot of you have already read this post by Sweet & Bitter on The Body Shop Sale & also this article in Time of India. If not, please go and read it, especially if you are a TBS India customer.

Basically TBS has been accused of tampering with the best-before tags and paste new ones on top of the old ones and selling them off in their sales. 


On a discussion on FB with other beauty enthusiasts, I found that a lot of people out there didn't really know about the 5 major giants who control most of the beauty market. Between them I suspect they control close to 50% to 70% of the brands out there. And they are: 

• Estee Lauder owns Aramis, Aveda, Clinique, Bobbi Brown, Prescriptives, M.A.C.Origins, Jo Malone, La Mer, Tommy Hilfiger fragrances, Bumble and Bumble, American Beauty, Flirt, Good Skin, Grassroots, Michael Kors Beauty, Darphin, Ojon, and Donna Karan Cosmetics.

• L’Oreal owns L'Oréal Professionnel, Kérastase, Redken, Matrix Essentials, PureOlogy Research, Shu Uemura Art of Hair, Lancôme, Yves Saint Laurent, Giorgio ArmaniBiotherm, DieselViktor & Rolf, Ralph Lauren, Kiehl's, Shu Uemura, Stella McCartney, Clarisonic, Garnier, Maybelline, Essie, Vichy, La Roche PosaySkinceuticals, The Body Shop, Helena Rubinstein, Bio-Medic among others

• Procter & Gamble owns Cover Girl, Max Factor, Olay, DDF, Aussie, Camay, Clairol, Gillette, Head & Shoulders, Herbal Essences, Ivory, Fredric Fekkai, Noxzema, Pantene, SK-II, Wella and Zest.

• Johnson & Johnson owns Neutrogena, Aveeno, Clean & Clear, RoC, Rogaine, Lubriderm, Purpose, and Ambi.

(Above list obtained from The Original Beauty Bible by Paula Begoun as well as wikipedia)

In addition, from what I found on wikipedia, Unilever owns Dove, Lux, Lifebouy, Sunsilk, Lakme, Ponds, Vaseline, Sure, Rexona, TIGI, Pears, Fair & Lovely, Tony & Guy, Clear, TRESemme, VO5 and Noxzema.

Most organisations have brands at different price points in order to cover all segments of consumers, and there is nothing wrong in that. A lot of times a new technology will be introduced in the higher end brands and will slowly trickle down into the drug store brands after a year. However there are some companies who sell the same formulations (with exact same ingredients) in both high end & drugstore line, sneaky right? 


Coming back to The Body Shop issue, I don't know if the allegations have been proved, but I didn't buy anything from the sale this time, just to be safe. But if it is true, that is just nasty! I hate that some companies treat India like an Inventory Dump! They launch products after 5 years, sell expired stuff after changing labels. It is just disgusting.

And then they talk about being "Beauty with Heart" & all that "Free - Trade" spiel. If a company doesn't think twice before duping its customers, I somehow find it hard to believe they really are fighting for the rights of Cocoa Butter farmers in Ghana!

48 comments:

  1. Same here Tans.. Stayin away from d sale his time..very sad the way products r being tampered with..

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    Replies
    1. I know! I don't trust them at all now..

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  2. OUCH! I did not expect that from TBS. That's just unacceptable. They are not doing India a favor by selling things there - its a big market and moreover they sell at the same prices so this is rather awful of them.

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  3. Ohh about the same ingredients and different price from same owner - I already researched about it when I was hunting a SLS free shampoo. (You will be shocked to know what all I came up with and I had proof but I couldn't continue with it because I got busy with work)

    And yes, the worst case is in shampoos. Amazingly even the Indian brands have same shampoo in variants like Slky and SMooth, Long Shine, blah and blah and you will find that all of them have exact same ingredients. Test it when you visit any supermarket!

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    1. Hahaa! I know Sweet & Bitter. I noticed it in the Herbal Essences range while at Beauty Center.. I put it down to - "Maybe the concentrations differ".

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    2. Maybe...but if thier claims are so very different then shouldn't they have atleast one extra ingredient from another? I am not a chemist but thinking it in general way - at least ONE extra ingredient!!!

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  4. am so happy i came across this post.. this is really sad.. :(

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    1. same here.. i was not expecting this at all from TBS especially.. :(

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    2. I agree Deeptima & Niesha.. It wld be horrifying even if a small, local company did this.. and here we are talking about a global brands that prides itself on its values & ethics.

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  5. Sreiously des brands shld stop Dump'n d old one n india.. Esp d ones like maybelline and revlon ones.. Once d craze s ovr, they dump it to india wit thier old stock.. our blogger community shld do something against this !

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    Replies
    1. Yes, we are the world's new inventory dump it seems. As bloggers I'm not sure how much we can change these practices, other than just blog about them & keep readers informed. Even after that TOI article, this weekend I saw a lot of shoppers at the TBS store picking up stuff on sale. So where is the incentive for these brands to take us seriously. They have enough customers who will continue to throng at their stores.

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  6. Read the article and really shocked. Didn't expect TBS to be a hypocrite! Anita Roddick must be turning in her grave..definitely not the values she started off TBS with

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    1. I'm not sure who is behind this - TBS Global or their Indian Retail partner, but even then, TBS itself should have some quality processes in place to prevent this. A lot of things about TBS have changed since it moved to L'oreal stable.

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    2. Completely agree..hope TBS puts some quality control checks in place now

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  7. colorbar sold me their expired nail polishes once! its sad how they treat india as a cosmetic dump!

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  8. Pout Pretty, Anita Roddick is pretty fine in her grave, I am sure. After all, she sold to Loreal despite criticizing their business practices all her life. In the end, screw cocoa farmers, fair trade and the customers. Money is all that matters. Sheesh. I lost faith in TBS the day they launched their fairness range. Dame Roddick was the most vocal protester of fairness creams, was she not.

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    1. I agree with you KT. If you go to the wiki page for Anita - it notes how the name, logo & philosophy - The Body Shop - were actually copied from a San Francisco store. They were later paid off and asked to change their name to Body Time.

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    2. This article is an interesting look at the founding of The Body Shop: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-482012/Queen-Green-Roddicks-unfair-trade-started-copied-Body-Shop-formula.html

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    3. Ohhh God!!! Thanks for sharing...was not aware of this!

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    4. Guess at the end its all about the money...I used to be a big fan of TBS but not after this :(....and I didnt know about the founder!! Jesus what a shocker!

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  9. /thank god...I dint buy anything from the sale this time :)

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  10. It is just so sad that even when India has developed to become such a huge market...it is still being treated as an inventory dump...
    And it is equally amazing how indifferent we have become to such things...
    I think most people are still buying these product because they just think how does it even matter if they are selling us expired products... at least its TBS and its on sale

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    Replies
    1. I think it also has to do a bit with the appalling quality of some of the products sold locally, in front of that even mid - quality products from foreign brands seem awesome.

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  11. in indian business culture the onus is always on the buyer. Arrey bhai dekh dekh and jaj padtal se lo.There is no return policy and money back policy is just B$#@%^ ! These companies know in india sab chalta hai because people are brand crazy show them TBS/Lush/Mac and suddenly there will be no sense of how much should XYZ product should really cost. Then we are surprised this happens !. Why would a shampoo be all that different when the base chemicals are bought and sold in bulk and manufacturing is always outsourced to large unit. I have no peeve with drug store brands and high store being same: because that's how it should be.They don't use fairy ingredients in high store its just the same thing- packaged fancier and sold with higher mark up ! If the ingredients are costly then it'll be costlier in both drugstore and high end brackets !

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    1. You could be right Zee Bee. Read this article, I think you will like it: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-482012/Queen-Green-Roddicks-unfair-trade-started-copied-Body-Shop-formula.html

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  12. I wonder, How people still buy expired stuff inspite the awareness? :o
    They are either really dumb or they don't care, and that's what encourages these brands to treat us like inventory dump!

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    1. I think a lot of people actually don't even know about it. I didn't read about it in any of the major papers nor did I hear about it on TV. I first read Sweet & Bitter's post and that is what lead me to that TOI article. Either the print & tv news media is too busy covering our film stars or else this entire episode has been pushed underground deftly.

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  13. eye-opening article here, I hope something is done about this. it's not right to sell expired products which can result in dangerous side effects if used. I skipped the TBS sale too.

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  14. The Body Shop International trades in over 60 countries worldwide. We treat each country we trade in with equal respect, ensuring that our products meet the most stringent international quality standards.

    In case, any of you face any problem with our products, please feel free to write to us at customercare.tbs@questretail.in. Our team will be more than happy to help you.

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  15. There are two things to this.. One TBS could have shipped products nearing expiry or already expired to India.. since a sale was impending calling out in the name of festive season..

    Second..this could actually be the issue with the retail partner/franchise.. trying to make it up for expired products over a sale..

    Nevertheless its a shame on the brand.. and TBS should place stringent rules & inspection practices to stop this criminal act..

    First do this and then talk abt "Beauty with Heart" & "Fairtrade"...

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  16. Guys I am so glad I read the blog..Really good information, especially on the Company dynamics!I thought all these brands were competitors??? I now I get to know they belong to a same company :P Pretty awesome on the brands' side..on how they manage to run completely separate brands in the same industry..that too... successfully! Thank you Tanveer :)

    Well, I just stocked up The Body Shop products, carefully selected though. I didnt come across any such thing/ expiry products. All products were perfectly fine! i love the brand and m really happy that no such thing came up...otherwise i would have been sad. have been visiting the stores since so long. I am sure it must have been a bad day and a bad experience!

    However such things should make us more vigilant and aware. I am glad to see that The Body Shop has responded and is conscious to what we say. Thank you Tanveer for providing this platform. :)

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  17. Oh my God! This is just wrong! I haven't bought anything from the sale this time, TG. You're so right T, they do treat India like a dump, thinking we'll take it.



    ♥xx♥

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  18. this was shocking to hear about, Tanveer!!! I wasn't attracted by TBS except for some of the selective products but they are a high-end brand and this is happening in many shops so can't be the fault of the shops either who want to finish or get rid of their stock!!!

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  19. u must be surely reading the The Beauty Brains site... still my two cents..
    loreal makes kerastase and other drugstore masks in one factory.. the just put more perfume in the kerastase one to make it luxury like. its the placebo effect.. people feel their hair is luxurious after using a high-end brand like kerastase while a Matrix mask will have the same ingredients and performs equally well. Eyepencils, mascaras... same old same old story...

    the bodyshop puts really good grade of perfumes in their products. thats why it smells so good n mimics fruits and the perfume lasts for hours. they make people sign a petition saying "stop animal testing" what.... its a joke.. since Loreal does animal testing extensively.. why do the false show then? i just read from your link that in 11 years they have not given ONE PENNY to charity.. !!! they have some really good products so just cut the NATURAL crap out..we will buy it happily..

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  20. u must be surely reading The Beauty Brains website.. still heres my two cents..
    A loreal employee was saying how they make Kerastase and Matrix masks in same factory and add more fragrance to the luxury one, ie Kerastase.. its the placebo effect..People buying Kerastase will never ever accept that Matrix has the same ingredients and works the same...Eyepencils, mascaras, lipsticks.. same old, same old story...Play around with a base, pigments, hardeners, preservatives and stabilizers... Yet we will go rush and buy a mascara cause it will give u "Million lashes".. :)
    I was just reading from the site you gave.."in 11 years they have not given one penny to charity".... ha ha..
    Lush split from them because of the animal testing issue mostly. Lush adds preservatives and SLS, agree, its highly priced, agree, but they have videos showing how the product is made etc. Also they dont put their stuff in the eyes of rabbits and monkeys and puppys.. (i have never bought anything from Lush :))

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  21. This is not a charitable institution to spend money over them. TBS has some values of saving the planet, against animal testing and almost all they have fair trade policy that they are buying products directly from the poor farmers around the world to help them financially as well as it encourages the traditional way of agriculture.

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    1. And no one is asking them to do charity.. All we are saying is stop fooling us with expired prdts! Don't tamper with their dates. If such a lofty brand thinks nothing of fooling / cheating customers, do you really think they care abt farmers? Wld you buy expired prdts that cld damage your skin, just becoz they are helping some farmers? Wldn't it be better use to just donate that money to a charity.

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  22. 23 feb , 2013, The case about Body shop is true, I went to a body shop store today at Connaught place , Delhi and saw they are selling expired products , teh date of manufacturing was 2009 and expiry was November, 2012 , which means the product is already expired and I took the photo as well.
    When I complaint about it to sales guys, they said they only put products which are expired during sale.
    i again asked them do u know what r u saying, then they said, by mistake we have put the wrong sticker.

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  23. 23 feb , 2013, The case about Body shop is true, I went to a body shop store today at Connaught place , Delhi and saw they are selling expired products , teh date of manufacturing was 2009 and expiry was November, 2012 , which means the product is already expired and I took the photo as well.
    When I complaint about it to sales guys, they said they only put products which are expired during sale.
    i again asked them do u know what r u saying, then they said, by mistake we have put the wrong sticker.

    ReplyDelete

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