A Call for Transparency
As CSPA works to build relationships
with groups that are often viewed as
hostile, ABC News commentator Tori
Clarke, the mid-year meeting keynote
speaker, urged the audience to embrace
transparency. As chief Pentagon
spokeswoman at the start of the Iraq
War, Ms. Clarke developed the plan to
embed journalists with U.S. troops.
Although she acknowledged that the
program may put tragic moments in
the spotlight, she noted that even when
the worst happens, it is better to deal
with the issue honestly and openly.
Similarly, she noted that policy makers and non-governmental organizations aren’t going away, so it is best to
work with adversaries.
“You must embrace transparency,” she urged the audience.
“You must go on the offensive, or you will lose.”
Ms. Clarke’s message was echoed by several speakers during the mid-year meeting. For example, during the Aerosol
division session, Ernest Bernarducci of WD- 40 advised the
audience that the green movement is here to stay and the
industry must learn to address it effectively. He also insisted
that scientists are pivotal in positioning their companies to
be solid eco-citizens who can help their companies develop
products that conform to the three Rs—recycle, reduce and
“Maybe aerosols fit this profile perfectly,” Dr. Bernarducci suggested. He
noted that aerosols are made from recycled steel, are efficient to use and are
driven by eco-friendly propellants.
However, some issues still remain.
For example, recycling is not 100%,
“CFC-free” logos are not widely used
and consumers are still unsure about
the safety of aerosol recycling.
Air Care Makes Its Case
The Air Care division also tackled the
negative media coverage issue.
According to Bill Mordan of Reckitt
Benckiser, the volume of global media
coverage devoted to air care issues has
increased dramatically in recent years
and most of it is negative.
At the top of the list is asthma, which
Mr. Mordan called the No. 1 issue impacting the air care category. Other key issues are hormone mimicry/endocrine disruption and neurotoxicity.
With today’s 24/7 news cycle, there is a constant flow of
articles that are rarely based on science or risk assessment.
Mr. Mordan also warned the audience that class-action lawsuits are on the rise, noting that most of them “have nothing
to do with facts.”
How can the industry respond effectively against all these
threats? He urged the audience to support the product ingredient disclosure program that’s being developed
by the CSPA and the Soap and Detergent
“We must show journalists and the public that
we have nothing to hide,” he said.
Ms. Semrau echoed Mr. Mordan’s comments in
her presentation on attacks on air fresheners and
the industry’s response. She insisted that chemo-phobia is reaching the mainstream and is here to
stay. In fact, it won’t be long before non-govern-ment organizations start attacking specific product categories and companies, she predicted.
Those high on the list will include baby and pet
care products, insect control and fine fragrance.
To combat the negativity head-on, Ms. Semrau
called for more fragrance houses to join the Air
Care division and sign up for the Product Care
“The demand for disclosure is growing,” she told
the audience. “We can’t stick our heads in the
To help with disclosure issues, the Air Care division is working with the Research Institute of
Fragrance Materials (RIFM) to generate a wealth
of data to help its cause.
“We’re trying to be good stewards,” she said.
“Today the issue is phthalates. What will be the
Tori Clarke was the CSPA keynote speaker.
Aerosol Production Slips, But Total Remains High
AEROSOL PRODUCTION fell 0.7% to 3. 66 billion units in the U.S., according to results of the 57th annual Consumer Specialty Products
Association survey. Despite the decline, it was the third highest total
in the history of the survey. North America maintaining a one-third
market share of global aerosol production. Personal care and household products are the two strongest sectors, according to CSPA.
“Our survey shows the North American aerosol industry remains
strong,” said CSPA President Chris Cathcart. “We commend the CSPA
Survey Committee for their hard work to help make this year’s survey
a comprehensive and reliable picture of the industry.”
The survey, which reports the unit volume of aerosols filled and
shipped for domestic use in 2007, as well as estimates for Canadian
and Mexican production, continues to serve as the primary index for
assessing the economic status of the North American aerosol products
industry. CSPA estimates total North American aerosol production in
2007 tops 4.1 billion units, which includes Canadian fillings of 190 million units and Mexican fillings of 261 million units.
By category, personal care products increased for the third time in
four years and, at nearly 988 million, returned to its place as the
largest product sector, just ahead of household products. Meanwhile,
household product fillings, the No. 2 segment, fell 1.2% to nearly 970
million. Other category results: Insect sprays, up 3.9% to 236.1 million;
paints and finishes, up 1.8% to 451.5 million; animal products, up
11.7% to 7 million; automotive, lubricant and industrial products,
down 8.8% to about 493 million; food products, down 1.2% to 448.5 million and miscellaneous, down 11.2% to 60. 6 million.