There is an article in yesterday's UK Times Online about the recent price-fixing fines against French perfume houses and distributors. Columnist Bethan Cole notes...
It’s hardly a surprise. When you buy certain big-brand perfumes, you are buying a marketing dream and paying for a sumptuous ad campaign — or should we say ad canard, or even ad fiction.
Read the rest of the article here. As previously reported, LVMH (and possibly Chanel & L'Oreal) plan to appeal on the basis that the regulator doesn't take into account the specifics of the luxury perfume market, but as The International Herald Tribune points out:
Since these are the same regulators who cracked down successfully on price-fixing at Paris luxury hotels in November, the they-just-don't-get-it argument rings hollow. Someone should explain to the perfumers that in the era of globalization, any industry where survival can be assured only by gaming the market is doomed. That goes for energy, software, jobs and — yes — toilet water.
See the rest of that editorial here (it is the second part of the article, after the discussion of China).