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Race and Beauty

August 8, 2009

Adam Sage, French cosmetics giant L’Oréal guilty of racial discrimination, Times Online (U.K.), June 25, 2009.
http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/consumer_goods/article6572173.ece

L’Oréal, the French cosmetics giant, whose advertising campaigns proclaim “because you’re worth it”, was found guilty of racial discrimination for considering black, Arab and Asian women unworthy of selling its shampoo.

France’s highest court was told that the group had sought an all-white team of sales staff to promote Fructis Style, a haircare product made by Garnier, L’Oréal’s beauty division.

The word went out that Garnier’s hostesses should be BBR — “bleu, blanc, rouge” — the colours of the French flag. The expression is widely recognised in the French recruitment world as a code for white French people born to white French parents, a court was told, in effect excluding the four million or so members of ethnic minorities in France.

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