I am still amazed that lots of makeup and cosmetics companies haven't started blogs of their own, though I suppose that's more out of cluelessness than anything. (Full disclosure: My day job, if you could call it that, for the last year has been to clue companies in to how blogging can feed their business model and improve how they communicate with the world and internally.)
Proctor & Gamble, though, has stuck a toe into the blogging waters with its blog for Sparkle Body Sprays. It's got a lot of the things that make blogs so wonderful - permanent links to each individual post, trackbacks so they can see who is linking to them, and the blog is run on a self-publishing system that means technical novices can post their entries - but is missing a blogroll that links to other beauty-related blogs and sites. And the content is rather lame, to put it mildly.
But the worst offense is the Flash animation at the top of each page. If I could send one message to companies about their websites it would be this: Use of Flash on business websites is 100 per cent evil. Your customers will not thank you for it, no matter how much you ooh and ahh over it when the 'interactive' agency shows you how the pretty pictures move and - if they're really sadistic - make noise. When it comes to Flash, just say "Hell no!"
One of the worst examples of Flash on a beauty site is the one for This Works, a company founded by former British Vogue health and beauty director Kathy Phillips. The site is almost entirely in Flash, and it's impossible to link to discreet pages or chunks of information, or to highlight and copy content to quote on blogs like this one. The bits that aren't in Flash are PDFs, which is another rant for another time. (Emails from PRs with 20mb PDFs and 10mb Word documents attached are nothing I would wish on anyone.) It's almost as if they don't want anyone to link to their products or spread the word about the thinking behind it.
Still, hats off to P&G for being the first beauty company to give this blog thing a try. Now someone, anyone, hurry up and do it better.
Link via Adriana Cronin-Lukas