A Response: J&J Paid Post in The New York Times

Johnson and Johnson, the same corporation sold you talcum rich baby powder (causing countless cancer cases paid over $4.69 billion in lawsuits) would now like to sell you an education on clean beauty chemistry . Last weekend the New York Times ran JJ’s paid piece  that sought to educate consumers on preservatives and other synthetics. Their full page advertorial cited medical doctors in an aggressively defensive fight to keep their cosmetics relevant in the ever growing retail trend toward “Clean Beauty.”

Industry cosmetic giants like Johnson and Johnson (JJ), Procter and Gamble, and Unilever have seen their cosmetic sales drop dramatically in the last few years as consumers, wary of their health, move to natural and organic brands.  This year, natural beauty brands will exceed 13.2 billion in sales, beating out mainstream competitors by trifold.  As large corporations feel the heat, their strategies to combat the trend have grown aggressive.

Lawsuits over adverse health effects caused by JJ products continue to tarnish the brand image. Thus, JJ has been calling upon a plethora of tactics in attempt to compensate for the millions lost in revenue. Their efforts include public outreach via news outlets and revamped marketing infrastructure characterized by aggressive new hires with Alison Lewis at the helm.

Other corporate giants like Unilever, Procter and Gamble and Chlorox have gone in the direction of purchasing natural brands.  Chlorox famously purchased Burts Bees for nearly 1 billion dollars while corporations like Uniliver and Proctor and Gamble have recently acquired numerous indie brands like Schmidts and Native. As acquisition budgets from giant cosmetic corporations continue to increase, prepare to see independent brands scooped up at a quickening pace.

There is much more to be unpacked but one thing is for certain: now more than ever, is a time to be an attentive clean beauty consumer and advocate.  

Stay tuned - as we will continue to parse apart this issue as it evolves in real time - as we are committed to serving you nothing but truths & equipping you with all that you need to navigate the muddied waters of green beauty.

Ashley Prange

Founder & CEO, Au Naturale Cosmetics


  1. https://paidpost.nytimes.com/johnson-and-johnson/when-it-comes-to-personal-care-products-is-natural-always-better.html?tbs_nyt=2018--nytnative_morein&cpv_dsm_id=190333863
  2. https://www.transparencymarketresearch.com/organic-personal-care-products.html
  3. https://www.adweek.com/brand-marketing/inside-story-jjs-revamped-marketing-mission-under-alison-lewis-172013/
  4. https://investors.thecloroxcompany.com/investors/news-and-events/press-releases/press-release-details/2007/Clorox-to-Acquire-Burts-Bees-Expands-Into-Fast-Growing-Natural-Personal-Care/default.aspx
  5. https://www.beautyindependent.com/unilever-schmidts/