Tricolsan Drives Consumers Away From Colgate-Palmolive Co (CL)’s Total Brand

Angela Pollock, who teaches sociology in Knoxville, Tennessee, decided to give up on Total, a brand of Colgate-Palmolive Co (NYSE:CL) after having used it for the last 15 of her 57 years when she heard that it contained triclosan. Having read that this chemical is responsible for arresting growth and triggering carcinoma, she did not have any qualms about switching her loyalties to another brand, namely Crest Pro-Health.

“If Colgate is that lax in putting this kind of chemical in their product, I don’t think I’ll buy other Colgate-Palmolive brands,” is what she replied on being asked about her decision.

She is not the only one who has shifted her preference from Colgate-Palmolive Co (NYSE:CL) to other brands and this trend has been noticed all across the country off late. In Brooklyn, a 40+ years of age mom named Nancy Hirsch immediately eliminated this brand from her shopping list when she learned that it contained triclosan.

Colgate (CL)

Even though the revenue generated by Total is just a small percentage of sales figures accrued by the company, it happens to be one of the most popular brands on a nation-wide and global platform. Therefore, any controversy generated in relation to this brand, like triclosan, is likely to have a direct implication on its overall performance. Impact from triclosan revelations were manifested for the first time in financial terms when shares of Colgate-Palmolive Co (NYSE:CL) opened at $64.21 today after having dropped by 0.3%.

On its part, the company has left no stone unturned in trying to control the damage, some of its efforts entailing posting its justifications on Twitter and emphasizing Total’s ability to fight gingivitis. However, with even dentists refusing to recommend this brand to their patients, the company does face a major challenge which it can overcome only by alleviating consumers’ fears and genuinely addressing their concerns.

As Michael Stone, owner of Beanstalk, a licensing agency in New York, put it –

“This isn’t the kind of thing that just blows over.”

The statement only serves to further highlight that in spite of Colgate Palmolive Co (NYSE:CL) reiterating its FDA clearance, consumers are far from convinced about Total’s safety and hence are drifting away from the brand, thus denting the company’s revenue.

The article has been written by Vinita Basu.

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