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Rise of social media can drive change following new regulation

By Andrew McDougall+

06-Dec-2013

The nature of social media means that information travels faster and whilst this is a great tool for brands to interact with consumers, it is also a great driver for change when you look at the new cosmetics regulation that has come into force.

Earlier this year, in July, products placed on the market of European Economic Area were subject to new European cosmetics regulations (EC) No 1223/20092, replacing the old cosmetics directive 76/768/EEC, making itself a single law, and attempting to eliminate ambiguities that may occur among the member states during the enforcement process.

Although the vast majority of cosmetics organisations doing business in Europe will be well aware of the new requirements, the reality is that not all have so far achieved compliance.

This task is made substantial as it affects the way companies capture and manage data right across the product lifecycle, for current and future lines.

Rise of social media

While all this is going on and the legislation settles, there are a lot of other drivers for change; one of which is the rise of social media.

Any bad practice now gets published right across social media, which can oblige a company to add or remove an ingredient far quicker than Brussels might.

At the same time, retailers have no qualms about telling cosmetics companies what can and what cannot appear in a product – as well as what can and cannot appear on the packaging.

“Social media and retail power have come out of nowhere to join legislation as driving on-going and almost certainly constant change regarding the labelling on your packaging,” Kallik CEO Neil Gleghorn tells CosmeticsDesign-Europe.com.

“In practical terms, that means the content that appears on the pack has to be compliant with not just Article 19 but also be compliant and sensitive to these other drivers, too.”

IT systems

It also looks like IT systems will play a big role in helping to organise and automate the way data is collected and managed, with many forums and summits this year on the new regulation highlighting this.

With the new rules in place, some companies may have to reflect on how best to organise their internal processes so as to be as well-prepared as possible.

“With a data approach, you create an image – once, centrally,” explains Gleghorn. “That’s to say, your system only has one instance of a brand’s image which it will automatically track, so you never ever duplicate data.”

“As a result, the creation of one master instruction document becomes much faster and slicker – and it automatically helps to better govern your control and consistency.”

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