Alberto-Culver sues Procter & Gamble over defective skin cream

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Skin care United states

Having bought the Noxzema skin care brand from Procter & Gamble last year, Alberto-Culver is suing over claims that the skin care cream was defective.

Alberto-Culver bought the line from Procter & Gamble in October last year for $81m, and has filed the lawsuit claiming that some of the products in the line had not fulfilled product claims over quality, a Reuters news report claimed.

Under the terms of the acquisition agreement Procter & Gamble had agreed to continue to produce the skin care line during a transitional period, before Alberto-Culver could take over the production using its own resources.

Customer complaints rise

However, in the case, which was filed in Illinois county courts on August 12, Alberto-Culver highlighted the fact that the number of customer complaints had risen steeply by the beginning of last year.

The court records stipulate that during the first three months of the year the number of complaints had risen from nine in the previous three months to 61.

Despite the fact that Procter & Gamble was still manufacturing the product line, the court papers detail that the company had refused to make any compensation to Alberto-Culver for the money it had to spend to rectify the problems with the products.

Lumpy skin care cream

Those problems allegedly affected 20 per cent of the skin care line, and most commonly related to the consistency of the formulations, which was said to be lumpy or grainy.

The product line was manufactured at the company’s plant in Puerto Rico and the court papers specify that the problems are likely to have arisen because the formulations were over-heated and then were not adequately checked by quality control.

Alberto-Culver bought the rights to the Noxzema skin care brand in the Americas, which includes the US, Canada and Latin America markets.

However, Procter & Gamble still holds the marketing and distribution rights to the Noxzema brand in Europe.

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