Is Lip Balm Addictive?
History of LBA
Lip Balm Anonymous Presents the Industry of Addiction
The Marketing of Lip BalmFor a while now we've talked about how the Industry of Addiction tries to push their wares to an unsuspecting public. Too often, we've been met with scepticism. In a few cases we were even met by hostility from people in the Industry.
In May of 1997, Lip Balm Anonymous was able to obtain marketing documents from the Metholatum Co. Don't ask us how we did it, but rest assured all involved are recovering nicely! These documents, entitled "Lip Care Category Sales Strategy 1997-1998," provide conclusive proof that the balm-makers will stoop at nothing to sell their products.
Lip Care Categories
The chart taken from the Mentholatum report shows the different balm market segments. There are value priced brands such as Chapet, private labels, and Chap Stick. There are "medicated" balms such as Carmex or Blistex. And there are cosmetic lines such as Bonne Bell, Lip Tone, and others. You would think these balms are quite different from each other, but they're not. Price differences are mostly a factor of packaging and "perceived worth." To quote the Mentholatum material, "Lipcare is not a price driven category. Highest category sales (are) found in stores with higher pricing. Proven potential to price up and increases (sic) profitability. Higher priced products continue to show (the) greatest growth in food and drug."
The chart above shows the extent of advertising and promotion for balm products. Different product lines are advertised in different magazines. You can check the dates yourself to determine the authenticity of the documentation.
Most scary however, is continued proof that balm companies use techniques employed by drug dealers. Detailed on our Lip Balm Drug Connection page, "the first one's free" technique is shown here too! See how the advertising starts? They start with $1-off coupons as the first assault of their marketing blitz. Worse, you can see that the young people of our college campuses are among the first targets. Don't students have enough problems with substance abuse? The National Sweepstakes to win a Geo Tracker is a venture with Seventeen magazine. You see, marketing to children never stops!
Selling Year-Round!Some people claimed we were crazy when we said lip balm addiction was a year-round disorder. Now we have proof! This Blistex ad ran in U.S. Sunday newspapers during May 1997. As you can see, the ad is very direct about trying to get people to use balm during the summer. If you think you only need lip balm during the winter, Blistex wants you to think differently!
Here's the proof in the pudding! These sales figures for the lip care category come from Mentholatum. Sales are the highest during December, and certainly winter is a busy time in the lip balm market. But look at the numbers another way. Sales are steady throughout the entire year! You don't see a nose-dive during the summer months at all.
In fact, one could argue that the increased sales during December are a factor of the holiday gift season more than weather. As you'll see on the next few pages, there is a big market for lip balm marketed to children. And you know a lot of that lip balm ends in Christmas stockings...
Last updated on May 29, 1997