There’s no beauty at this exhibition

Illegal settlement cosmetics company Ahava exhibits at Professional Beauty 2012

Report by London BDS

In September 2011, thanks to the work of human rights activists, along with a team of solicitors and barristers, Ahava closed its only shop in the UK as a result of a two-year campaign of fortnightly demonstrations, direct actions and legal challenges - though many would agree that the antics of the Zionist Federation’s Jonathan Hoffman also proved invaluable.

Not wanting to open another shop that would attract unwanted attention and generate further bad publicity for both themselves and their landlord, Ahava is seeking other ways to sell their dodgy lotions & potions. Nancy Kricorian, CodePink’s coordinator for its Stolen Beauty campaign, compared it to a game of whack-a-mole, as new places where Ahava is sold pop-up frequently.

For instance, we reported last November of a visit to the World Travel Market at London’s ExCeL centre where Ahava had a stand in the high-security Israel pavilion and in January 2012, the company began to peddle their wares direct to spa and salon owners up and down the country under the guise of a roadshow.

Professional Beauty, a beauty industry trade magazine, organises exhibitions throughout the UK targeted at salon owners and those who work in the beauty sector. According to the organisers, the two-day event at ExCeL last year drew over 33,000 visitors. Without a doubt and anyway you look at it,  Professional Beauty is one of the largest shows of its kind in Europe.

In October 2011, a coalition of human rights activists attended the Professional Beauty North show at Manchester Central where they staged a high-profile demonstration inside the venue, very near to the Ahava stand. Many more activists were outside, leafleting and engaging with the hundreds of visitors who attended that day.

London’s ExCeL centre.

Again exhibiting at Professional Beauty on the 4th and 5th of March at ExCeL is Ahava UK Ltd, who will again attempt to use the show as a platform to promote and sell their plundered potions to whoever they can. Ahava (at Stand H16) are still desperate to unload stock from their closed Monmouth Street shop and are even offering the gullable a 20% discount on their products. 

Organiser Mark Moloney: Ahava is a “law-abiding business.”

The company that organises the Professional Beauty show have repeatedly ignored appeals to bar Ahava. In an interview in Exhibition NewsTrade Exhibitions Managing Director Mark Moloney naively referred to Ahava as a “law-abiding business.”

Perhaps factually challenged or perhaps blinded by the substantial fee paid by every exhibitor to his company, Moloney may not realise that Ahava, a company found to be complicit in Israeli war crimes, violates the 4th Geneva Convention (of which the UK is a signatory), as well as the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations. Moloney may be ignorant of the fact that Ahava cheats the UK government out of much-needed revenue by claiming – contrary to international consensus - that its products originate in Israel, thus eligible for a reduced tariff under the EU-Israel Trade Agreement. Also under doubt is whether Moloney knows anything about life under Israeli military occupation or has ever visited the region.

As covered in a February 2011 post, London activists were present both inside and outside of last year’s Professional Beauty exhibition at ExCeL, engaging with and distributing flyers to both visitors and exhibitors, exposing the notorious illegal settlement cosmetics company.

At ExCel in February 2011.

We hope that Trade Exhibitions Ltd and especially its owner, Mark Moloney will see sense and bar Ahava from exhibiting at any future Professional Beauty event.

After all, supporting apartheid can be bad for business.

*****

KNOW YOUR ENEMY: AHAVA

Pat Strutt, Ahava UK’s Managing Director.

Here’s an interview with the Managing Director of Ahava UK Ltd, Pat Strutt, posted on the Professional Beauty site on 12 September 2011 – about a week before the Ahava shop on Monmouth Street closed for good. The page also includes a link to Ahava’s training programme.

If you’re going to be in London on the 4th & 5th of March (Sunday and Monday), you can register to attend Professional Beauty 2012 for free here.

On Facebook, you can leave a message on the Professional Beauty Facebook page or tweet: @pro_beauty

And contact details for Trade Exhibitions Ltd:

3.21 The Plaza
535 Kings Road
London SW10 0SZ
Tel: 020 7351 0536
Email: info@professionalbeauty.co.uk
 

In August 2011, CodePink activists were at the COSMOPROF beauty exhibition in Las Vegas where Ahava was exhibiting. This video is definitely worth watching:

Visit www.stolenbeauty.org to find out why Ahava is such a dirty business.

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