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Body Shop brand reputation is battered by sale to L'Oreal

LONDON – The Body Shop's reputation is already starting to suffer as a result of its sale to French cosmetics giant L'Oreal, according to BrandIndex ratings measured by YouGov.

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The £652m deal, officially announced on March 16, promised to leave the ethical cosmetics brand and its business intact and help it grow internationally, but public perception of the company has not taken long to change.

According to the daily BrandIndex, The Body Shop's "buzz" rating has dropped 10 points to –4 since the beginning of the month, the public's "general impression" of it is down three to 19 and "satisfaction" has slumped a massive 11 points to 14.

Since March 15, the day before the announcement, the buzz rating has slipped nine points, general impression is down eight, and satisfaction has dropped three.

The Body Shop's acquisition by one of the world's biggest cosmetics companies was always going to stick in the throat of consumers, who valued the overtly ethical stance it has maintained for 30 years.

Not only that, L'Oreal is 26.4% owned by Nestle, one of the most boycotted companies in the world.

Indeed, campaigning group Baby Milk Action is now lobbying consumers to boycott The Body Shop because of its new parentage.

BMA protests against Nestle's marketing of baby foods and powdered baby milk in the developing world, where Nestle is particularly reviled by protestors.

YouGov's BrandIndex is a daily measure of public perception of more than 1,100 consumer brands across 32 sectors, gleaned from 2,000 interviews from its panel of around 130,000 people. 

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