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‘Because I’m worth it’: L'Oréal Paris boss on why slogan still needs to be ‘radical’

L'Oréal Paris' iconic slogan 'Because I'm worth it' is over 50 years old
L'Oréal Paris' iconic slogan 'Because I'm worth it' is over 50 years old Copyright L'Oréal Paris
Copyright L'Oréal Paris
By Damon EmblingHannah Brown
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L'Oréal Paris’ Global Brand President tells the story behind their iconic slogan and why she wishes it was no longer needed.

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Created in 1971 by a young female copywriter in the US, the now infamous L'Oréal Paris ‘Because I’m worth it’ slogan, affirming female worth, came at a time when men were dominating the conception of female-targeted advertising. 

“It was at the beginning of feminism in the US. And claiming the self-worth of a woman in an advert, it was really the first time it happened,” Delphine Viguier-Hovasse, Global Brand President at L'Oréal Paris, told Euronews Culture at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. 

“It has been building the whole story of [**L'Oréal Paris**](VivaTech 2022: Luxury group LVMH and beauty giant L’Oréal on embracing metaverse and new tech) since then, giving power to women and giving them a sense of self-worth.”

‘Radical’ words ‘still so relevant’

The gender gap for women in the workplace is far wider than previously thought, according to a World Bank Group report published in March. It claims women enjoy fewer than two-thirds of the rights of men, and that no country provides equal opportunity for women, not even the wealthiest economies. 

Viguier-Hovasse believes the L'Oréal Paris slogan has passed the test of time, more than half a century now, because “claiming and shouting out loud that women are worth it is still so relevant.” 

“Those words are radical in reality, and we still need them to be radical,” she said. 

These radical words were penned by 23-year-old Ilon Specht. Though their longevity is something to be admired, Delphine hopes for a world where they won't need to survive a century.

“I’m afraid that this slogan will live for another 50 years because I’m afraid that we need to repeat constantly to the women on the planet that they are worth it, that they have the equivalent worth.”

Breaking down work barriers

Earlier this year L'Oréal Paris launched a new campaign called ‘Worth It Resume,’ which aims to encourage women to become entrepreneurs. It features women sharing their ‘resumes’ on LinkedIn, which detail struggles and setbacks that led them to their success today.

“This resume pushes the women to dare to create a job, to dare to create a start-up and not to be pulled back by the fear of failure,” said Viguier-Hovasse. 

Standing up to street harassment

L'Oréal Paris is also working to tackle street harassment against women. In research it conducted last year, almost half of the respondents said they were turning down opportunities because of fear of it, and just over 40 per cent reported missing social events.

“They cannot have a job after university to get money because it's at night, they don't want to take the subway. So, it's really an issue not to walk freely in the streets,” explained Viguier-Hovasse.

Since 2020, the company has been running the ‘Stand Up Against Street Harassment’ programme to tackle the problem. Through its work, more than 2.8 million people have received training in 46 countries - including safe intervention, if they experience or witness street harassment. 

Watch the video above to learn more about the history of L’Oréal Paris’ iconic tagline. 

You can see more content from Cannes Lions here.

Additional sources • Filmed and edited by Arnaud Augst

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