My Resaerch Paper on Revlon

Topics: Revlon, Cosmetics, Max Factor Pages: 11 (3143 words) Published: July 11, 2010
Revlon Inc. is a United State company started for providing high-quality products at affordable prices to women. Revlon products are sold in more than 100 countries around the world with sales outside the United States comprising 43% of sales in 2006. Revlon’s products include skin care, cosmetics, personal care, fragrance and professional products. Some of the company’s most recognized brand names are Revlon Ultima 2, ColorStay, Almay, Charlie, Flex, Mitchum, Jean Nate, and ColorSlike. The company continues to introduce new products.


The origins of Revlon Inc. date back to1931, when Charles Revson and his older brother, Joseph Revson, distributed Elka nail polish as Revson Brothers. Within a year, Charles decided to open his own nail polish company, going into partnership with Joseph and a nail polish supplier named Charles R. Lachman, who contributed the "L" to the Revlon name. Revlon was established in 1932. Starting with a single product — a new type of nail enamel — the three founders pooled their resources and developed a unique manufacturing process. Using pigments instead of dyes, Revlon developed a variety of new shades of opaque nail enamel Charles noticed that the permanent-wave boom was making beauty salons more popular, and that demand for manicures was rising at the same time. He therefore targeted beauty salons as a market niche. Within its first nine months, the company boasted sales of $4,055. In 1933 there was a sharp rise to $11,246. That same year, the company incorporated as Revlon Products Corporation.


By 1940, Revlon offered an entire manicure line, and added lipstick to the collection. During World War II Revlon created makeup and related products for the U.S. Army, which was honored in 1944 with the Army-Navy ‘E’ Award for Excellence. By the end of the war, Revlon listed itself as one of America's top five cosmetic houses. Expanding its capabilities, the company bought Graef & Schmidt, a cutlery manufacturer seized by the government in 1943 because of German business ties. This acquisition made it possible for Revlon to produce its own manicure and pedicure instruments, instead of buying them from outside supply sources. Up until the 1940s, Revlon's magazine ads were drawn by hand and mostly in black and white. Beginning in 1945, Revlon began launching full-color photographic advertisements in major magazines and stores across the country. Revlon introduced matching nail polish and lipsticks with exotic and unique names. These ads were taken by the top fashion photographers of the day including Richard Avedon, Cecil Beaton, and John Rawlings. Some of these ads were for "Paint the Town Pink" and 1945's "Fatal Apple" with Dorian Leigh. In 1947 Revlon introduced "Bachelor's Carnation" and in 1948, "Sweet Talk".


In 1950, Revlon introduced a red lipstick and nail enamel called "Where's the Fire?" Revlon used the word "fire" again later in their "Fire and Ice" ads. One of the world's first supermodels, Dorian Leigh, starred in some of Revlon's most memorable advertisements of all time.

Revlon's 1952 Fire and Ice campaign was one of its most successful, raising that year's net sales to almost $25.5 million. In 1955 the company again scored an advertising success when it became the sole sponsor of the CBS television show, "The $64,000 Question." Net sales for 1955 grew to $51.6 million, from $33.6 million the previous year. That year, an allegation of wiretapping was filed against Revlon by Hazel Bishop. The charge was denied by Revlon controller William Heller, who nevertheless admitted "monitoring" employee's telephones for training purposes. Revlon reorganized as Revlon, Inc., in November of that year. The company went public one month later and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange a year later. The IPO price was $12 per share, but it reached $30 per share within 8 weeks.


During the early 1960s Charles Revson became aware that his...

References: Atlas, Riva. “Revlon Running near Empty,” (August 28, 2003).
Davis, Ricardo. “Revlon to Shut Plant, Ax 900 jobs in Valley,” The Arizona Republic (November 2, 2000), p.A1.
Brookman, Faye. “Revlon’s Exec shuffle raises Question,” Woman’s Wear Daily, September 22, 2006.
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