Monday, April 27, 2009


I recently did a posting about an article that a member of my staff received in her child's kindergarten newspaper. I thought it was great that the salon that posted the article was educating consumers about diversion. What better place to get to young parents than a kindergarten newspaper.

After posting, I received the following from a reader that took issue with the article. As stated in my response, I think that he missed the point of my article

Larry Kopsa CPA

The following is the reader's response. (LK note: I have listed John's comments in red.)

"Do you really buy into this? Most professionals have learned to read right through this spin! Do you do programs for Mitchell distributors? If so I guess I get it? These products and many more are going through a web that is designed for these diverting companies to avoid being found out that they are turning their heads, allowing diversion and gaining the sales. It's just a matter of greed.

Stay focused on the areas that you are providing benefits to the profession, don't go and boost these companies esteem. You just don't look good.

This is from your newsletter.

  • The next time you buy a professional hair product in a drugstore or grocery store, you may want to think twice. It’s either diverted or counterfeit, and using these products could put your health at risk. The professional hair care industry identifies product as “diverted” when a professional-use-only product or a product that requires a professional recommendation shows up on grocery, drug or Internet store shelves.

  • In most cases, manufacturers will guarantee professional hair care products only when purchased from a hair salon. John Paul Mitchell Systems, manufacturer of Paul Mitchell, is one such company. “The professional salon industry is our only business,” said John Paul DeJoria, Chairman and CEO of John Paul Mitchell Systems. “If you buy Paul Mitchell at a grocery store, drug store or from the Internet, it’s not authentic and it’s not guaranteed.”

Comment from John: This is a joke! Go to CVS, do you think they are buying counterfeit products every week?

  • It’s a Health Hazard. How diverted products reach mass retail shelves is a dark story. Generally acquired through the gray or black market, diverted products are tampered with, so what’s on the label is not necessarily what’s in the bottle.

Comment from John: Are you kidding me? Go JP.

  • Counterfeit products are even more dangerous independent tests run by FOX News found toxic levels of bacteria in the counterfeit products it analyzed. More importantly, these types of diverted products can make their users sick enough to require medical care. (Source: FOX News, June 2003 and Independent laboratory analysis.)

Comment from John: Whose products? This is the only story Mitchell was able to pull off way back in 2003.

  • It’s a Steal – Not a Deal Buying diverted products can actually cost more than if you purchase authentic products at a hair salon. The product passes through so many hands before reaching a mass retailer’s shelves that a single bottle can cost as much as $3 more than if it was purchased in a hair salon.

It’s Professional for a reason. Manufacturers invest millions of dollars to train hairdressers on the proper use of professional salon products. In turn, hairdressers share their expertise when recommending products clients can use for their hair type and condition.


April 27, 2009

John, I appreciate your comments. Your point is valid. As you well know, we see articles all the time blaming the manufacturer or the distributors for diverted products. Vindicating the manufacturers was not my point for posting the article. The reason I posted the article was not for the professional behind the chair, but rather the average consumer. How many average consumers know about diversion? My guess is very few. The salon that placed this article in the school newspaper was, like myself, trying to educate the average consumer. I say ‘hats off’ to the salon for running this article!

Larry Kopsa CPA