Proctor & Gamble is back on the road to redemption in China after its SK-II range re-appeared on store shelves this week following a ban brought about by a scare relating to traces of heavy metals that were found in formulations.
According to reports from the state media, the range went back on sale in the southern city of Guangzhou, which was where consumer watchdog representatives had first raised alarm bells over the presence of chromium and neodymium in SK-II products that had been manufactured in Japan.
P&G will be trying to shake off the damage the scare has done to the brand in Asia by establishing special counters to sell and promote the brand in key cities throughout China.
Authorities in China had found a sample of 12 products from the SK-II products contained amounts of the heavy metal that were believed to be potentially dangerous to human health.
P&G staunchly defended its position over the SK-II formulation, claiming that the levels of heavy metal found in the products posed no threat to human health. The company claimed that the metals were only trace amounts, commonly found in a many compounds and manufactured goods.
The SK-II brand is one of the country's leading premium skin care lines, but that position was jeopardized following tests by China authorities that first came to light three months ago.
After news filtered through to the China press about the possible dangers, consumer panic ensued leading to demonstrations at the company's retail outlets in Shanghai at growing frustration over the company's handling of the situation.
But Chinese authorities finally came round to agreeing with P&G company officials at the end of October. In a joint statement between the Ministry of Health and the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, officals confirmed that the product line posed no danger to human health.
The SK-II line features premium sunscreens, skin whitening and general skin care products, has been available for twenty years and is sold in 14 countries worldwide, including the US, China, Singapore, South Korea and Australia.
After all the work that P&G has put in to defend the formulation of its range, now even more work lies ahead for the company to try and restore consumer confidence amongst its consumers and rebuild a positive image of the brand.