Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Shades of red: The success of M.A.C

How many lipsticks does it take to fight AIDS?

You wouldn’t think a tube of lipstick could help fight HIV/AIDS, but since 1994 M.A.C has proven that statement true. Not just because it has generated over US$100 million through sales of its Viva Glam Lipstick (six shades) and Lipglass (two shades), or because every single cent from each product sold is donated, or even because of its lippy roster of celebrity spokespeople, such as Linda Evangelista, Christina Aguilera, Pamela Anderson, Debbie Harry and, now, Fergie. Nope. According to beauty guru Allan Mottus, M.A.C is a success story because its counter sales staff is good at making people care.
“Women do not become candy stripers or help out in hospitals or anything like that anymore. They have a luncheon,” explains Mottus, editor and publisher of U.S. cosmetics trade magazine The Informationist and Women are also buying Viva Glam from M.A.C’s makeup artists. “The M.A.C beauty advisors are really loyal to the concept. It’s part of their awareness within their own community, and they work really hard at it,” says Mottus. Hard enough to sell 7.1 million tubes of lipstick and lipgloss in 14 years, that’s for sure. (Each tube costs $17, so you do the math!) “It has become an institutionalized thing [M.A.C staff promoting Viva Glam] within their organization, and they’re doing a very good job.”

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