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Japan's Kanebo battles to rescue brand after skin-blotch scandal

Japanese cosmetics giant Kanebo faces a tough battle repairing its brand image with consumer confidence at "rock bottom" after its products left ugly blotches on customers' faces, observers say. Japan's second-largest cosmetics firm -- more than a century old and with its reputation for quality now in tatters -- can recover, they say, but it has to move swiftly and surely. Kanebo's travails are the latest in a long line of public relations disasters that have felled companies of all sizes.

Head of Japan's Kanebo apologises over skin stain scandal

The head of Japanese cosmetics giant Kanebo apologised Wednesday over a recall of products blamed for leaving thousands of customers with skin blotches, as the firm faced criticism over delays in halting shipments. Company president Masumi Natsusaka pledged to overhaul safety controls while temporarily cutting his salary to atone for the widening scandal. "We offer a whole-hearted apology to customers," Natsusaka told a Tokyo press briefing as he bowed deeply, a common gesture among Japanese executives when issuing a public apology.

Taiwan to ban Kanebo whitening substance

Taiwan will ban Kanebo Cosmetics Inc.'s skin-whitening chemical substance following consumer complaints of white blotches, the island's health authorities said Monday. Lu Li-fu, spokesman of the Food and Drug Administration under the Ministry of Health and Welfare, said the ban will come into force as soon as this week after all necessary procedures are completed. Lu said 47 users are confirmed to have developed symptoms relating to the blotches since Kanebo Taiwan began to import skin-whitening products from Japan in 2011.

Kanebo Cosmetics in Taiwan investigates complaints about products

Kanebo Cosmetics Inc. in Taiwan said Wednesday it is looking into complaints by customers who saw patchy whitening of their skin after using Kanebo products, including face lotions. According to the company's public relations specialist Fiona Lin, 181 customers complained, with 123 cases currently being investigated. She said 58 of the cases are not connected to the use of Kanebo products.

Japan firm widens recall after skin stain complaints

Cosmetics maker Kanebo said Tuesday more than 2,000 Japanese had complained about skin discolouring after using its whitening products, as it widened its consumer recall outside Japan. The company also said it had agreed to pay medical costs for people in Japan who had been left with uneven colouring of their skin, even after they stopped using the products. Earlier this month the company announced the recall from retailers all over Asia and Britain of a total of 54 cosmetics containing a substance called 4HPB, a synthetic version developed by Kanebo of a natural compound.

Japan's Kanebo recalls cosmetics over skin stain fears

Japanese cosmetics maker Kanebo on Thursday announced it was recalling 54 skin whitening products from all over Asia after complaints they caused discolouring that does not clear up even after use was discontinued. The cosmetics contain a substance called 4HPB, a synthetic version developed by Kanebo of a natural compound, the company said. "Some consumers complained that they had white patches on their skin after using the products, and we suspect a link between the condition and 4HPB," a spokeswoman said.
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