Marcelle gives SPF top billing

Professional Pharmaceutical has restaged its Marcelle line of suncare products.The new Marcelle makes clear advertising claims as to the level of sun protection factor (spf) contained in the product.The line consists of three lotions and three creams. Both the lotions and...

Professional Pharmaceutical has restaged its Marcelle line of suncare products.

The new Marcelle makes clear advertising claims as to the level of sun protection factor (spf) contained in the product.

The line consists of three lotions and three creams. Both the lotions and the creams are available with spfs of eight, 15 and 20.

The number indicating the spf appears prominently on the packaging, and each of the products is clearly labelled as either a ‘Sun Block Lotion’ or a ‘Sun Block Cream.’

In its previous incarnation, Marcelle contained sun-blocking ingredients and was sold as a sun protection product, but Professional was restricted in what it could tell consumers since the product was not registered as a drug with the Health Protection Branch of Health & Welfare Canada.

For a product to legally claim in its advertising that it offers protection from the sun, it must first obtain drug status from Health Protection and be given a g.p. (general product) number or d.i.n. (drug identification number.)

Before the restaging, Marcelle’s packaging contained a number understood to indicate the product’s spf.

But Professional could not go the further step of actually stating the number referred to spf because that would have been construed as an advertising claim.

Earlier this year, Montreal-based Professional, which owns the Canadian rights to Marcelle, secured gp numbers for the brand.

Only a few years ago, it was common for manufacturers not to seek drug status for sun protection products.

But sun exposure has since become a major issue for most consumers, leading them to become increasingly discriminating about which products they buy.

This, in turn, has created a need for manufacturers to state as clearly as possible the specific benefits their products offer.

Suzanne Vallerand, product development manager on Marcelle, says she hopes the gp registration will be good for sales, adding, ‘it makes the line more serious as it is now recognized by the government.’

Marcelle is sold primarily from the cosmetics counter of drugstores.