I tried to stay away from addressing this but so many emails have come in I feel I have to post something in order to avoid an overflowing inbox and responding to everyone individually.
Proctor & Gamble released a $5 off 2 Clairol Products in the P&G 7/7 insert. Based on the emails I have gotten from MSM readers, this coupon is being paired with Herbal Essences Shampoo, Conditioner or Stylers to make free items in matchups and deal scenarios around Coupon World.
I thought & thought about this and searched my conscious wondering “Is this an appropriate use of the coupon?” My take: It’s not.
First- let’s look at what Clairol lists as their products on their official website: all of their products are hair colors and dyes. Not a single Herbal Essences shampoo or conditioner.
Secondly- let’s check out their Facebook page. I’m sure it’s full of questions about this coupon. Renee of Clairol was running their Facebook Page yesterday and this is what she said, “The intent is that it would be good on only Clairol hair color.” She answers another question with “This coupon is good on only Clairol hair color. Totally understand the question as Herbal Essences is Clairol, however Herbal Essences hair care products run their own coupons. You can use it on Herbal Essences hair color though. ^Renee”
Finally- I asked myself- when I say “Clairol” do I think about Herbal Essences? Well, NOW I do…but before this controversy- Nope. I thought about hair color. Searching out a “loop hole” in order to use a coupon isn’t something I think is a good idea. Taking advantage of a manufacturer is a good way to see those coupons drop in value or disappear completely. We’ve already seen our 50¢ Dawn Dish coupons drop to 25¢ or disappear. We’ve seen our Tide Coupons drop drastically in value (many thanks to the controversy over the trial/travel packs- which aren’t even MADE or Distributed by P&G- but that’s another story).
Add it all up: The coupon shouldn’t be used on Herbal Essence Hair Products.
When a company has a coupon issued they have a specific budget set aside for that product. So Clairol issues a high value coupon for hair dye- they expect to see an increase in hair dye sales and make adjustments in manufacturing, etc. for that. Instead P&G sees thousands and thousands of bottles of Herbal Essences sold and Clairol sees no sales of hair dye. That can really mess up their accounting, manufacturing, marketing, sales…..
Also, if a store does accept this coupon for Herbal Essences (which actually puts out its own coupons) the store might not be reimbursed. Then we have a mad manufacturer AND a mad store. Things could get nasty for us couponers!
We know that the coupon is intended to be used on Hair Dye and that Herbal Essences is not considered a Clairol Product by the company that makes it.
*I didn’t have any bottles of Herbal Essences in my stockpile but apparently the bottles say “Clairol” in the logo. To me, adding up what the website says, their Facebook says and a little common sense about what brand of products the manufacturer intends the coupon for- I stand by my stance on this coupon.
Final Say: We each have to look at our own ethics (and not just couponing ethics) and decide what we think is the appropriate use of this coupon. Clairol has responded ” It was our intent that the coupon be good for $5 off of any 2 Clairol hair color products. Herbal Essences is marketed separately under the Herbal Essences brand name, and the coupon for the shampoo & conditioner was found on the page following our Clairol coupon. However, we understand that the wording of the coupon does not clarify hair color and want to reassure you that we fully take responsibility and will honor the redemptions that have come through. However, we hope that our original intent of offering $5 off of any 2 Clairol hair color products is recognized, so that we can continue to provide value offers in the future.”
To me- that is clear enough. The coupon isn’t truly valid on Herbal Essences. To me it’s not a grey area – it’s cut and dry. I won’t be using this coupon for Herbal Essences matchups nor using it in deal scenarios. I like my P&G coupons and I hope you do too! It makes me sad that people are demanding P&G “allow” this coupon to be used on a product it wasn’t for so they can have a few bottles of free or cheap shampoo. We can get that without trying to pressure a manufacturer or store.
What do you think?