L’Oreal Group Leads The Way In Bringing
Business And Education Together Careers

Paris, 22 October 2002 – L’Oréal Group, the world’s number one cosmetics company is demonstrating the Group’s commitment to bringing the business and education communities closer together with the launch of this year’s L’Oréal e-Strat Challenge.

Until 2nd December 2002, students from all four corners of the globe will have the opportunity, for the third year running, to apply online for a place in what has fast become one of the most sought-after accolades in the Business School and University community, worldwide.

The 3rd annual L’Oréal e-Strat Challenge gives students the opportunity to put themselves in the virtual driver’s seat of a leading global cosmetics company, taking up the challenge online, in teams of three. Once selected, students face real-time market situations over a period of two months. The challenge is to work as a team, discuss strategy and take tactical decisions to ensure that their company stays on track compared with the competition – four other virtual cosmetics businesses. Students will need to consider such business realities as pricing policy, production issues, research and development strategy, finance, marketing, advertising and brand positioning.

The L’Oréal Group’s credentials as the organiser and arbitrator of the e-Strat Challenge are undisputable. The Group is the world’s number one cosmetics company with an impressive portfolio of more than 12 international brands, sold in 150 countries, including L’Oréal Paris, Maybelline, Garnier, Redken, Kiehl’s, Shu Uemura, Biotherm, Helena Rubinstein and Lancôme, as well as Giorgio Armani and Ralph Lauren perfumes. The Group is also one of the world’s most successful businesses ever; with 17 consecutive years of double-digit growth and a strong executive management team whose President and CEO, Lindsay Owen-Jones, was this year voted “Star of Europe” by Business Week magazine. In 2002, L’Oréal Group was also voted one of Europe’s top ten companies to work for by Fortune magazine.

Commenting on the launch of the L’Oréal e-Strat Challenge 2003, the Group’s Executive Vice President of Human Resources, François Vachey says, “L’Oréal’s corporate culture is one that promotes leadership for the best talents and diversity. Being voted one of the best companies to work for, we are eager to share our enthusiasm with e-Strat players from around the world”.

Founded by a chemist almost one century ago L’Oréal has, from the outset, focused on strategic and scientific innovation in the development of its international business. But it is a company that has always understood that innovation is not possible without the brilliance of the human mind. The e-Strat Challenge is L’Oréal’s invitation to students to share in that expert business management knowledge that is at the heart of its success.

Since its launch in 2000, e-Strat Challenge has brought together more than 10,000 students from 50 countries to experience the realities of running a global cosmetics business. The most international of online business challenges available today, the e-Strat Challenge last year saw 2,400 students take up the challenge to ‘run’ a cosmetics business.

The 2003 Challenge has been further enhanced by taking account of student feedback in previous years. Celica Thellier, e-Strat Challenge Director at L’Oréal says, “The challenge turns theory into reality for students who are of a new generation where ‘only seeing is believing’. E-Strat Challenge helps develop valuable skills such as strategic decision making, team building, risk-taking and looking outside the box for creative solutions to real problems”.

The simulation software has also been adjusted to include increasingly variable consumer behaviour and evolutions in the structure of distribution to more closely mirror the kind of behaviour L’Oréal Group witnesses in the cosmetics market.

And in an important move to provide participants with greater exposure to a real-life situation, a new twist has been incorporated: the winner of each zone will be invited to submit a strategic business plan and to present their strategy to the L’Oréal e-Strat Committee at L’Oréal’s Head Office in Paris, France. A prestigious Awards Ceremony will be held later that day in Paris to announce and celebrate the overall worldwide winners.

Registration online from 21 October: www.e-strat.loreal.com

Press Contacts

Noëlle Camilleri
+33 (0) 1 47 56 48 43
ncamilleri@dgc.loreal.com

Lorrain Kressmann
+33 (0) 1 47 56 40 24
lkressmann@dgc.loreal.com