The indoor tanning community is sometimes vilified for having a for-profit motive for promoting moderate sun exposure, despite the fact that indoor tanning companies are mostly mom-and-pop operations started by values-driven individuals who, as true small business operators, most often place the value of their lifestyle and their life choices ahead of a profit motive.
That model stands in stark contrast to the company that is perhaps the largest purveyor of anti-sun “sun scare.” Johnson & Johnson — the world’s largest purveyor of sun-scare — had a huge first quarter in 2008, with profits up 40 percent from last year. And the company’s Consumer Products Division, which produces Aveeno and Neutrogena sun-scare products, was the company’s top performing division once again.
Johnson & Johnson’s Consumer Products Division’s sales in the first three months of 2008 exceeded sales of every indoor tanning facility in North America combined.
According to the company, worldwide Consumer Products sales of $4.1 billion for the first quarter represented a 16.2% increase over the prior year. “Sales results reflect the strong performance of the U.S. launch of ZYRTEC, an over-the-counter allergy treatment; LISTERINE antiseptic mouth rinse and whitening products; Baby Care products; and the skin care lines of NEUTROGENA, CLEAN & CLEAR, and AVEENO,” the company reported in a press release Tuesday.
Skyrocketing Aveeno and Neutrogena sales can be attributed in large part to the company’s stance that sunscreen cosmetics should be worn year-round in every climate — a strategy that has been widely criticized for contributing to pandemic levels of vitamin D deficiency.
Worldwide, an estimated 1 billion people suffer from vitamin D deficiency.
“So much money is made telling people to avoid any and all sun exposure. Fortunately, the press is slowly waking up to this fact,” Smart Tan Vice President Joseph Levy said.