Promoting responsible communication


Both internally and externally, L’Oréal has made the formal commitment to promote responsible communication. As a signatory to the Cosmetics Europe Charter on Responsible Advertising and Marketing Communication, which the Group helped draft, France’s Voluntary Engagement Charter on Body Image and the Responsible Advertising Charter of France’s Union des Annonceurs, L’Oréal is striving for continuous improvement in this realm.


As France’s leading advertiser, L’Oréal is particularly conscious of its responsibility when it comes to advertising. What image are we presenting in our brands’ communication? How are we portraying women and men? How might we be potentially influencing mindsets? What are our responsibilities as a multimedia advertiser? These and many other questions were on the Group’s agenda in September 2013 in discussions with a dozen French entities specialising in this field: government officials, advertising regulatory bodies, feminist organisations, and others. The debate went beyond the question of portrayals of women or men in the stricter sense and focused on the broader representation of beauty. With concepts of archetypal or enhanced beauty, how can one avoid capitulating to social dictates and express diverse, respectful beauty in words and images? The stakeholders hailed L’Oréal’s transparent dialogue and position on these issues, recommending different courses of action for the coming years, such as awareness-raising campaigns in schools or development of new ways to represent men in advertising.


In 2013, to obtain a concrete, illustrated analysis of its future undertakings and to be able to address those works effectively in the eyes of its stakeholders, L’Oréal conducted a semiotic study on the portrayal of women in advertisements from its Lancôme, Garnier, Vichy and L’Oréal Paris brands. The study examined 144 print and TV advertisements and served as the basis for concrete and constructive dialogue with experts, NGOs and associations specialising in this domain. The “portraits of women” created by each brand were assessed in accordance with critiques and potential preconceived notions that exist with regard to the fashion or cosmetics industries: a representation of standardised or artificially created beauty, product promises, threats to the integrity of women. Far from this vision, the study focused on L’Oréal’s efforts to communicate responsibly: advertising promoting diverse, multifaceted beauty, while enhancing this beauty such that it is rendered aspirational. The diversity of the Group’s brand portfolio means it can communicate using a broad range of perspectives on both beauty and women. This underscores the universalisation of beauty, correlated with the business strategy: offering women and men worldwide the infinite diversity of beauty.


Responsible communication is one of the key topics covered in the Group’s “Fundamentals of Internal Control”. Management and staff are regularly informed and reminded of the in-house procedures in place to ensure compliance with responsible communication principles. Several fundamental principles govern how international and local communication approval procedures must be followed: prior to any external disclosure, all forms of advertising are to be approved by the Research & Innovation teams, in the International Division for the Evaluation of Product Communication, then communicated by the international marketing departments to the local scientific and legal departments in the various countries and approved by the country manager himself. In addition, the operations teams are kept informed every year by means of in-house media, such as entertaining educational videos or dedicated training modules.

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of L'Oréal's brands conducted an initiative raising awareness about sustainable consumption and bringing answers to some of the challenges our society and environment face. Our target: 100% by 2020.


of new or renovated products in 2017 have an improved environmental profile thanks to a new formula that has a reduced environmental footprint.

“Reconciling the convictions of citizens with the decisions made by consumers is one of our main challenges! ”

« Nous sommes tous mobilisés pour construire un Loréal plus durable. »

Alexandra Palt

Directrice Responsabilité Sociétale et Environnementale



Find all our publications regarding our sustainability commitments as well as press kits and videos in the Resources section.

All resources
2017 report

Our 2017
progress report

Download the 2017 progress report