Monday, June 20, 2005


TV and magazines are putting on silly reality shows and dumb down programs to attract the interest of young folks who will buy their products. The cosmetic companies, however, which are the best social observers in the world, now have a new advertising target---older folk, especially men. In 2004 , according to Datamonitor reports, seniors accounted for a rapidly increasing use of personal care products, preening themselves more than teens. Despite this seniors, remain an under targeted audience by an industry that continues to focus on younger groups.

A New York radio stations just removed its "Golden Oldies" music program along with its older disc jockeys. Despite a huge outcry by older fans, the executives believe the money is in a youthful audience and they substituted something called "jack" of which most of the once loyal audience had not heard.

Personal care products provide one of the most lucrative commercial categories. Before detergents and food company promoters, cosmetic social observers have recognized that the buyers of all products are growing older. One company in Great Britain even has a 92 year old woman in a skin care campaign.

In another report, Simon Pitman noted that some 10 percent of the male population over 40 years uses some form of hair dye and that companies are beginning to produce anti-wrinkle and other skin products for the older male.

Maybe advertisers will support programs that they now believe have "too old" an audience. They may even bring back Diagnosis Murder and CBS News.

Friday, June 03, 2005


Want Chardonnay in your moisturizer? Tangerine in your mouthwash? Papaya in your soap? Products containing those ingredients are on the market. Organic cosmetics are expected to reach $5.8 billion soon, growing at the rate of an estimated nine percent a year. The search for "all-natural" products is fueling the introduction of "new "skin care and beauty items.

The United States Department of Agriculture has evidently been so swamped with cosmetics claiming to be free of chemicals and synthetics, it has withdrawn its "USDA Organic" label designation for such products. When it created the seal in 2002, the primary intent was to certify the organic claims made by food producers. Now, three years later, the department believes that cosmetics and personal care products can't be government-certified as organic, after all.

Almost all cosmetics and skin care products do contain "natural" ingredients. Just consider fruits, which are among the most popular. Strawberry juice, for example, is reputed to contain ingredients that soften and nourish the skin. Plum extract is used in mouth washes and skin creams. And don't forget the fruit acids used in a myriad of anti-wrinkle creams. Olives, soy and wine grapes are also popular today.

The European market is particularly focused on finding legendary and newly discovered active botanicals. They may give the ingredient an exotic name. The European names on the label Opium graveolens and Avena sativa, for example, we call celery and oatmeal.

Even though there are no standards for organic cosmetics, reportedly any soap, shampoo, or other body item with the word "organic" in its name is a popular choice. You have to read the label carefully so you don't get "skinned".