Burt's Bees seeks to clear up natural confusion

By Guy Montague-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Cosmetics

Burt's Bees is launching an advertising campaign to help create a
level playing field in the natural market by educating consumers
about what constitutes a natural product.

The company has been active in promoting tighter labeling standards for natural cosmetics to prevent manufacturers from marketing their products as 'natural' when they contain only trace amounts of natural material.

Advertising campaign Its latest marketing campaign will consist of six print advertisements that will attempt to educate consumers about what constitutes a natural product and explain how to identify one.

"This campaign represents a tremendous step towards educating the public to read labels correctly while showcasing the benefits of natural and raising awareness about what natural really means," said Burt's Bees chief marketing officer, Mike Indursky.

The "Natural Vs" campaign will also try to persuade the consumer to give up their conventional products and switch to natural alternatives.

News of the adverts comes a few months after the creation by Burt's Bees of a new website, The Greater Good, in which the company put forward its own definition of natural.

Natural regulation Visitors to the site are also encouraged to sign a petition for universally recognized and regulated guidelines for all natural personal care products, which is called Burt's Bill for Setting the National Standard.

Fueling its arguments for stricter standards is a survey of 502 women commissioned by the company which indicated that misunderstanding is widespread concerning the status of the 'natural' label.

A total of 78 percent of respondents wrongly believed that the natural personal care sector was regulated and support for regulation was very high at 97 percent.

While two-thirds thought that a cosmetic product labeled natural should have at least 95 percent natural ingredients, the absence of regulation means that this is frequently not the case.

Products with greatly differing quantities of natural ingredients can be labeled 'natural' including cosmetics with as little as 5 percent natural material.

Calls for tighter regulation are also being made in Europe where leading natural cosmetic companies formed a lobby group at the end of last year to represent the interests of the natural industry.

The group, called NaTrue, is calling for clear regulatory definitions of natural and organic cosmetics and hopes to represent the natural cosmetics industry in negotiations with government.

Related topics Formulation & Science

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