This doesn’t Pétain to you

Nancy Friedman spotted this display in Walgreen’s:

Store display for Vichy brand cosmetics

What were they thinking? L’Oreál, which has owned the Vichy trademark since 1955 — the original Vichy company dates to 1931 — evidently hopes you have a short memory, or only the sketchiest knowledge of World War II. On my finely calibrated Effrontery Scale, this is a couple of standard deviations beyond, say, vending Appomattox Ale from a taco truck in Charleston, South Carolina.

Friedman suggests alternate slogans; I recommend the note-perfect “Your Beauty Collaborator.”

A fine kettle of fish soup, guys.


  1. McGehee »

    6 September 2014 · 7:36 am

    I’ve been seeing that display there for months without noticing the product name.

    I blame my Y chromosome.

  2. Tatyana »

    6 September 2014 · 9:11 am

    Well, if you recall that Vichy is just a name of a small town, and quite an old one at that – maybe you’ll see how funny your mocking sounds?

    Can you imagine what this town have seen since its foundation – since Roman times? 4 measly years of serving as seat for French collaborative government (rather randomly chosen) – vs. 2000 previous yrs of history?

    Europe is a small and highly packed place; every locale can find a piece of its history pleasing all parties of Good and Evil – and definitions there are never set in stone. Should we ever step on Madrid pavers knowing of the fate of Spanish Jews as defined by Isabella and Ferdinand’s laws? Should we ever visit Paris, remembering rivers of blood spelt on barricades of French Revolution(s), of St. Bartolomew’s Night massacres, of Termidor, of Napoleon’s plagues over Europe? And don’t get me started about Germany…

  3. McGehee »

    6 September 2014 · 10:31 am

    The soup is hardly the worst of Vichy’s crimes against humanity.

  4. CGHill »

    6 September 2014 · 11:11 am

    Tat: There is such a thing, perhaps, as “too soon.” Maybe decades from now this will go unnoticed.

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