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  1. #1
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    Exclamation German Television Documentary

    While I was in Berlin last week I watched an alarming tv documentary about the perfume industry and disruption caused by certain major players. The programme focused mainly on the escapades of L'Oreal. The programme was shown approximately 9 days ago and hopefully can be still be viewed through the website of the tv company. The programme was called Umschau and was shown on either MDR, (Mid Deutsches Rundfunk) or WDR, (West Deutsches Rundfunk). I am not sure which it was, butI will try and find out and report back.
    They had indepth interviews with three german online perfume retailers. An example was given of Alien Absolute which has a "recommended" retail price of €95. One of the online sellers was offering this fragrance for €38. The companies who produce these fragrances are trying to stop the cutprice online sellers by using various dirty tricks. The main trick L'Oreal was using was to issue lawsuites against the online companies claiming, (falsely) that the sellers were selling counterfeit ware - which in all of the shown cases turned out not to be the case. However, baffled judges who are not specialised in these fields were siding with L'Oreal and subsequently these companies were receiving crippling fines, but were in fact selling the genuine product. L'Oreal has made a sport out of these bullying/terrorising tactics and many other examples were shown including an example showing the fragrance Diesel Zero Plus.
    The programme showed systematic terrorisation by L'Oreal which focused on online companies with the sole aim of eliminating them.

    LVMH is using other tricks and in France has actually blocked computer users with a french IP address from purchasing any online LVMH products not offered directy by their authorised online websites. They have even gone one step further and blocked online purchasing of ALL perfumes with the name Vetiver, (regardless of the fact that it may be a vetever fragrance from a company outside of the LVMH umbrella).
    The tv documentary was disturbing to say the least and the action of these giants scandalous.
    Last edited by david; 15th August 2014 at 07:06 PM.
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  2. #2
    Basenotes Institution sjg3839's Avatar
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    Default Re: L'Oreal - Ruthless Dirty Tricks

    What's done in the dark, will always come to the light!

  3. #3

    Default Re: L'Oreal - Ruthless Dirty Tricks

    Usually, it's not about online sellers selling counterfeit product, but about them using the company's logos, artwork, and other intellectual properties when advertising said product online. I may be wrong though.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: L'Oreal - Ruthless Dirty Tricks

    It's perfectly within L'Oreal right's to do all this. They grey market is a cancer for businesses. Selling product with almost zero margin is one giant race to the bottom that nobody wins.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: L'Oreal - Ruthless Dirty Tricks

    If this is all true, then it calls for an all out Boycott or maybe not???
    "Thank GOD for the nose, for without it we would not be enjoying these beautiful created Scents" also Remember "Balance is everything and the key to appreciating "

  6. #6
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    Default Re: L'Oreal - Ruthless Dirty Tricks

    Quote Originally Posted by dmckean44 View Post
    It's perfectly within L'Oreal right's to do all this. They grey market is a cancer for businesses. Selling product with almost zero margin is one giant race to the bottom that nobody wins.
    So what are they supposed to do with all of the discontinued/reformulated, etc., stock?
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: L'Oreal - Ruthless Dirty Tricks

    Quote Originally Posted by lpp View Post
    So what are they supposed to do with all of the discontinued/reformulated, etc., stock?
    Destroy it like their contract says. I deal with this crap all the time, distributors are so shady. I had to break contract with my last distributor a few months ago for dumping a 27 of kegs of six months old IPA on the Philadelphia market, a market we don't even distribute in. Lots of negative reviews from people trying our beer for the first time. The entire experience was so infuriating.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: L'Oreal - Ruthless Dirty Tricks

    It must be awful for you but many of us are actually joyously happy to find discontinued or pre-reform versions of our favourite scents - it's a little different to beer.
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  9. #9
    david's Avatar
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    Default Re: L'Oreal - Ruthless Dirty Tricks

    Quote Originally Posted by lpp View Post
    It must be awful for you but many of us are actually joyously happy to find discontinued or pre-reform versions of our favourite scents - it's a little different to beer.
    Some people are so totally wrapped up an agressive global capitalist system that they forget their truest customers.
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: L'Oreal - Ruthless Dirty Tricks

    Quote Originally Posted by dmckean44 View Post
    It's perfectly within L'Oreal right's to do all this. They grey market is a cancer for businesses. Selling product with almost zero margin is one giant race to the bottom that nobody wins.
    What a disgusting immoral reply.

    ps. the companies accused are not selling counterfeit ware. They are selling the genuine product at discounted price because they do not have the overheads that a retail store has. If the consumer prefers to buy online then so be it, but for L'Oreal to falsely accuse them of doing such practices is very immoral and affects the consumer and the genuine online retailers.

    pps. Your knowledge is extremely limited to speak of "zero margin". A bottle of Alien actually costs around $2 to produce...
    Last edited by david; 7th August 2014 at 08:53 PM.
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  11. #11

    Default Re: L'Oreal - Ruthless Dirty Tricks

    If they sell without profit is his business model, free market you know?
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: L'Oreal - Ruthless Dirty Tricks

    Quote Originally Posted by david View Post
    What a disgusting immoral reply.
    I own three businesses and invest in many more and I have perspective that you lack. My brands and products are my reputation and it's completely up to me how to distribute my products.


    I'm out of this discussion.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: L'Oreal - Ruthless Dirty Tricks

    Very shady business, boycott!
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: L'Oreal - Ruthless Dirty Tricks

    Quote Originally Posted by dmckean44 View Post
    I own three businesses and invest in many more and I have perspective that you lack. My brands and products are my reputation and it's completely up to me how to distribute my products.


    I'm out of this discussion.
    Go ahead. Join Nestle...Poland Springs and all that....if you call that perspective.
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: L'Oreal - Ruthless Dirty Tricks

    Quote Originally Posted by NazguL2 View Post
    If they sell without profit is his business model, free market you know?
    I agree NazguL2.
    Actually, selling Alien for €38, these companies still have huge profits !
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  16. #16
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    Default Re: L'Oreal - Ruthless Dirty Tricks

    At the end of the day if they or any buisness has contracts drawn up with retailers stating that...

    Lets say for example, product x has just been reformulated, the contract states that in this case the old -formulation stock left is to either be destroyed or sent back to the manafacturer to be destroyed because the brand doesnt want that product to be available anymore in its old state, then that is there right, and if companys are breaking them rules just to make extra money then they are in breach of there contract and are entitled to take them to court.

    Same applies to if a manafacturer gives specific sell by dates on a product to be at its best condition, or if they decide to change the packaging.

    I dont blame them, they are not running a charity service, they no how they want there product represented in its best light, or what they would percieve to be its best light. There may also be banned ingredients in old formulations thus leaving the company liable to issues if something happens with someones health using the product. Its amazing how selfish and blinkered people can be just to save a few bucks. There is alot more to it than just the company potentially being greedy.

    I think its as simple as that really...
    Last edited by DMA; 7th August 2014 at 09:14 PM.

  17. #17

    Default Re: L'Oreal - Ruthless Dirty Tricks

    Quote Originally Posted by dmckean44 View Post
    It's perfectly within L'Oreal right's to do all this. They grey market is a cancer for businesses. Selling product with almost zero margin is one giant race to the bottom that nobody wins.
    I respectfully disagree. If I buy something I value at a reduced price I win. I am not a nobody.

    I find it abhorrent when the system is manipulated by corporations with a seemingly limitless budget for attorney fees in an effort to keep the market under their complete control. Not only is it unfair to smaller businesses who are willing to work harder for less profit, it is a misuse of the court's time and ultimately, the taxpayers' $$ because they pay for the courts' time. I have no opinion about whether L'Oreal has the legal right to use these tactics. Even assuming they do, it doesn't make it right that they do it.
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: L'Oreal - Ruthless Dirty Tricks

    Your not going to like me for saying this, but statistically where you stand in the chain of consumerism is you are actually a nobody if your purchasing a product from an unoffical source and if that product shouldnt be available to you from that source, or if your purchasing a product that doesnt exist anymore and/or should of been destroyed.

    Its as simple as that. Your opinion actually doesnt count to the company because you are not a customer...

    Am i making sense? Because that is the reality of your place and where you stand in all of this...
    Last edited by DMA; 7th August 2014 at 09:34 PM.

  19. #19

    Default Re: L'Oreal - Ruthless Dirty Tricks

    What statistics?
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  20. #20
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    Default Re: L'Oreal - Ruthless Dirty Tricks

    Personally I think it all depends on how those retailers are getting the product they are selling. Obviously they are not buying directly from the manufacturer, or they would have the same contracts and agreements that the full price retailers have. If they are getting stock illegally (likely or L'Oreal or the other companies would stop selling stock to them rather than sue them), I don't care if it is real or not, they shouldn't be selling it. A stolen car is cheaper than a new one...that doesn't mean it should be sold.
    On the other hand, if the online stores are purchasing them legally, for example in cases of different pricing for different geographic locations, then they do not hurt the manufacturer's bottom line directly by selling at lower prices than recommended.

    I see merits on both sides of the argument...on the one hand, if the online retailers are doing nothing illegal (purchasing the bottles legitimately for resale), then why should the manufacturer be able to put them out of business. On the other hand...in perfumery it seems like a company's reputation and perceived position is a key to their ongoing success...and a high price tag, for better or worse, is often seen as a proxy for high quality and exclusivity. It may indeed hurt the company significantly if that perception of exclusivity is damaged in any way.

    The tactics are deplorable if what was related is accurate in both specific cases...but stopping products that are being sold or acquired illegally is not, and stopping unauthorized sellers from hurting the company's reputation is not.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: L'Oreal - Ruthless Dirty Tricks

    Quote Originally Posted by socalwoman View Post
    I respectfully disagree. If I buy something I value at a reduced price I win. I am not a nobody.

    I find it abhorrent when the system is manipulated by corporations with a seemingly limitless budget for attorney fees in an effort to keep the market under their complete control. Not only is it unfair to smaller businesses who are willing to work harder for less profit, it is a misuse of the court's time and ultimately, the taxpayers' $$ because they pay for the courts' time. I have no opinion about whether L'Oreal has the legal right to use these tactics. Even assuming they do, it doesn't make it right that they do it.
    Thanks socalwoman for an intelligent reply. It seems like many basenoters are really missing the point here.
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  22. #22
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    Default Re: L'Oreal - Ruthless Dirty Tricks

    Quote Originally Posted by DMA View Post
    Your not going to like me for saying this, but statistically where you stand in the chain of consumerism is you are actually a nobody if your purchasing a product from an unoffical source and if that product shouldnt be available to you from that source, or if your purchasing a product that doesnt exist anymore and/or should of been destroyed.

    Its as simple as that. Your opinion actually doesnt count to the company because you are not a customer...

    Am i making sense? Because that is the reality of your place and where you stand in all of this...
    Unfortunately you are not making sense. We are talking about "legitimate" online retailers selling "legitimate", (genuine) perfumes at discounted prices.....(a basenoters dream !!!) being FALSELY accused by L'Oreal.


    ...essex boys don't get it...
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  23. #23
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    Default Re: L'Oreal - Ruthless Dirty Tricks

    Quote Originally Posted by dmckean44 View Post
    I own three businesses and invest in many more and I have perspective that you lack. My brands and products are my reputation and it's completely up to me how to distribute my products...
    Well said.
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  24. #24
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    Default Re: L'Oreal - Ruthless Dirty Tricks

    There not legitamtly selling anything if there is a fixed price and its being sold for less.

    Believe me when i tell you essex boys are perfectly capable of getting it.

    If theres a product with a set price in the uk, and a set price in the united states, and wherever else, then in those contracts it will be stated. whoever the bad link in the chain is that is breaking that contract rule, some middle man in the link no doubt, is accountable for breaking that law.
    Last edited by DMA; 7th August 2014 at 09:51 PM.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: L'Oreal - Ruthless Dirty Tricks

    Quote Originally Posted by baaghji View Post
    Personally I think it all depends on how those retailers are getting the product they are selling. Obviously they are not buying directly from the manufacturer, or they would have the same contracts and agreements that the full price retailers have. If they are getting stock illegally (likely or L'Oreal or the other companies would stop selling stock to them rather than sue them), I don't care if it is real or not, they shouldn't be selling it. A stolen car is cheaper than a new one...that doesn't mean it should be sold.
    On the other hand, if the online stores are purchasing them legally, for example in cases of different pricing for different geographic locations, then they do not hurt the manufacturer's bottom line directly by selling at lower prices than recommended.



    I see merits on both sides of the argument...on the one hand, if the online retailers are doing nothing illegal (purchasing the bottles legitimately for resale), then why should the manufacturer be able to put them out of business. On the other hand...in perfumery it seems like a company's reputation and perceived position is a key to their ongoing success...and a high price tag, for better or worse, is often seen as a proxy for high quality and exclusivity. It may indeed hurt the company significantly if that perception of exclusivity is damaged in any way.

    The tactics are deplorable if what was related is accurate in both specific cases...but stopping products that are being sold or acquired illegally is not, and stopping unauthorized sellers from hurting the company's reputation is not.
    These online companies ARE buying from the official sources. They are selling at discounted prices because they can afford to. They do not have the overheads that a high street store in a city centre has, (eg rents/ rates, hire of sales staff etc.) Get it ?
    Last edited by david; 7th August 2014 at 09:53 PM.
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  26. #26
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    Default Re: L'Oreal - Ruthless Dirty Tricks

    Quote Originally Posted by DMA View Post
    There not legitamtly selling anything if there is a fixed price and its being sold for less.

    Believe me when i tell you essex boys are perfectly capable of getting it.

    If theres a product with a set price in the uk, and a set price in the united states, and wherever else, then in those contracts it will be stated. whoever the bad link in the chain is that is breaking that contract rule, some middle man in the link no doubt, is accountable for breaking that law.
    There is no set price. This is not an oil cartel. It is a free market. There are only "recommended" retail price guidelines. No set price.
    Last edited by david; 7th August 2014 at 10:02 PM.
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  27. #27
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    Default Re: L'Oreal - Ruthless Dirty Tricks

    Fixed pricing exists. Any brand can state in there contract with the retailer at what price the product must be sold for. They also can and do state whether that product is allowed to be sold in a sale at a reduced rate.

    This is why the very high end never has sales of anything. Try walking into an official creed or xerjoff stockist and purchasing one of there bottles in the new year sale, it wont happen because the brand does not allow it to happen. Even normal brands will have restrictions set in there contracts, less limiting than high end brands but they will exist.You may be able to get 10 euros off dior homme sport in the new year sale though, but that will only be if the brand allows the retailer to do so in the first place. they may not want there product being seen as in a sale, or cheap, or inferior.
    Last edited by DMA; 7th August 2014 at 10:07 PM.

  28. #28

    Default Re: L'Oreal - Ruthless Dirty Tricks

    Considering what their recent released are like, they can keep these scents! LOL.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: L'Oreal - Ruthless Dirty Tricks

    Quote Originally Posted by DMA View Post
    We understand that bit, but a hell of alot of brands have fixed pricing these days, or they most certainly do when a product is first released thats for sure. They may not care say 2 years after release and alllow it to be sold in sales by retailers etc, but not usually immediatley and without there permission.

    You suprise me actually you are from Europe also you should understand that.
    This is simply not true.
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  30. #30
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    Default Re: L'Oreal - Ruthless Dirty Tricks

    Quote Originally Posted by david View Post
    Unfortunately you are not making sense. We are talking about "legitimate" online retailers selling "legitimate", (genuine) perfumes at discounted prices.....(a basenoters dream !!!) being FALSELY accused by L'Oreal.


    ...essex boys don't get it...
    May I respectfully ask if that it's possible that your television show presented only one side of the story? L'Oreal has its own side, too, which that show may have ignored in a rush to paint a picture of a big, bad company going after the little guy. I can't agree. I don't know L'Oreal but I have experience with well-known companies getting royally jobbed by online sellers selling counterfeit, expired or revoked merchandise. That takes legitimate sales away from the company, but more importantly, it leaves consumers upset (and occasionally harmed) and the company's reputation harmed.

    Whether that one seller's products were legitimate or not, L'Oreal may have thought they weren't. From what you've said, the seller is either not an authorized distributor or is not following L'Oreal's distribution contract. Whichever is the case, according to a court, L'Oreal has the legal right to prevent the seller from selling its products without following L'Oreal's terms. That seller was doing something commercially wrongful to L'Oreal, and while some might have liked it that consumers were getting a lower price, consumers also get a lower price when criminals highjack a truck of tomatoes and sell them off at half price. It still doesn't make it right.

    But, even if your suspicions are correct that L'Oreal is solely motivated by wanting to make more money, so what? They are a company in business to make money. The online seller is a company in business to make money, too. One was doing so wrongfully, according to a court of law. L'Oreal has the right to protect its business legally. It has employees and stockholders depending on that. If we think its perfume is priced too high, we don't have to buy it.

    I'm not even a boy, so not an essex boy, whatever that is. I just disagree here. I find the issue interesting. It seems there's a lot of hostility to perfume companies in general, and I haven't figured that out.
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