Lancome’s Denise Ho controversy has negatively impacted the brand’s reputation amongst young Hong Kong women significantly, market research says.
Polls conducted by market research firm YouGov indicate that opinion of the French cosmetics company dropped significantly in Hong Kong in the last month, while general sentiment in mainland China stayed roughly the same.
The company conducts daily surveys online and weighs positive and negative reactions to brands against each other to create a “buzz score”, which is YouGov’s measure of general sentiment.
Screenshot: YouGov BrandIndex via Campaign Asia-Pacific
From June 1 to June 21, Lancome’s buzz score in Hong Kong dropped 45 points from +8 to -37, but rose to -22 by June 30. On the other hand, the buzz score for mainland China stayed relatively stable.
Photo: YouGov via Campaign Asia-Pacific
The number of women surveyed in Hong Kong who said they would consider buying Lancome products dropped from 18 percent in late May to 4 percent from June 12 to 18.
There was a slight bump in the number of mainland Chinese women who said they would consider purchasing Lancome products around the time Ho’s concert was cancelled, but otherwise numbers appeared stable.
On June 5, the French company cancelled a promotional event where outspoken pro-democracy singer Denise Ho was scheduled to perform, citing “possible safety reasons”.
However, many in the city believed it to be an act of self-censorship, as the cancellation had come one day after a state-run media outlet criticised the brand for cooperating with Ho.
The decision sparked calls to boycott the cosmetic company’s parent group, L’Oreal. All of Lancome’s shops across the city and a few other L’Oreal Group outlets were closed on June 8, when dozens of people protested against the company at Times Square.
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