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Published by:
IBS Center for Management Research (2007)
25 pages
Data source:
Published sources


This case is about the issue of sustainability rhetoric and greenwashing. In March 2006, The Body Shop International Plc, a retailer of natural-based and ethically-sourced beauty products, announced that it had agreed to an acquisition by the beauty care giant L'Oreal SA in a cash deal worth GBP652 million (USD1.14 billion). The announcement brought in its wake a spate of criticism against Body Shop and its founder, Dame Anita Roddick. This case discusses the reactions of consumers, activists, and corporate social responsibility (CSR) experts to the acquisition of Body Shop by L'Oreal. The acquisition throws up questions such as: Is Body Shop guilty of greenwashing? Does it have the influence to extend its values to L'Oreal. The case also looks into the issue of whether L'Oreal was trying to improve its own image and to buy CSR through this deal.

Teaching and learning

This item is suitable for postgraduate courses.


The Body Shop International PLC; Natural-based and ethically-sourced beauty products; L'Oreal SA; Dame Anita Roddick; Corporate social responsibility (CSR); Greenwashing; Consumerism; Mergers & acquisitions (M&A); Consumer advocacy activism; Environmental management; Beauty care; Animal protection and testing; Community trade product; Product boycott; Business ethics


The events covered by this item took place in 2002-2006.

Geographical setting

United States; United Kingdom

Featured company

Company name:
The Body Shop International Plc
Beauty care, cosmetics

Featured protagonist

  • Anita Roddick (female), Founder

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