I’ll bet 99% of the readers of this blog know that Lady Gaga played the lead role in the smash hit movie ‘A Star is Born’. But how many of you know who was Lady Gaga’s stunt double? Well it was Heidi Pascoe, if you weren’t aware. Who was the Boom Operator on the film? (I think that is something to do with sound) – it was one Craig Dollinger. First Assistant Accountant? A certain Anthea Strangis.
I am usually the last person to leave the cinema. When the drama is over, I like to watch the credits roll, and, if I enjoyed the film, pay my own personal homage to the hundreds of distinctly unfamous people who made it all happen
This is possible because TV and cinema are the only industries explicitly to credit the workforce (or ‘crew’ as they say in the film business). But, of course, much of what you consume is the product of a cast of hundreds, if not thousands, of talented individuals. We could roll the credits for everything, if only there was room on the pack.
Cosmetics and Personal Care (or at least part of it) has something in common with the film industry –the value placed on celebrity. We have been at the forefront of the practice of product endorsement for many years, to the great profit of the likes of Justin Bieber. Celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Kylie Jenner go beyond endorsement and have their own product ranges. But behind them all is that credit list, dedicated and talented people who will never be famous, but without whom nothing in our industry works.
Cosmetics Europe has decided to look behind the scenes, and speak to the men and women who help make our industry the success it is. Cosmetics is a particular interesting industry for this exercise, because, to take just three examples, we are highly entrepreneurial (witness the thousands of SMEs and booming start-ups in our sector) science-based and technical (€2.35 billion spent on R&D in 2017 in Europe) and highly dependent on our ability to engage with and respond to consumer sentiment (e.g. digital innovation in our sector is second to none). All of these factors, and more, mean we have thousands of talented people in our ‘crew’.
And to think of this in economic terms for a moment, our workforce tends to be what economists call high-value added – using skills and education to promote innovation and growth. In other words, exactly the kind of jobs that Europe needs if we are to keep pace with the rest of the world.
So next time you pick up a cosmetics or personal care product, whatever it may be, pause and think of the credits list. There are brains and skills in that bottle, people who may not live in the spotlight, but who make our industry tick. Our People.
John Chave, Director General, Cosmetics Europe