After the negotiation of the historic Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in 2015, American companies are able to legally engage in business in the Islamic Republic of Iran. We usually think of companies in the energy or transportation sectors, but personal care products giant Combe Incorporated has made a bet that the Iranian market is ripe for its Just for Men hair coloring. Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing James Kelly plans to launch the product in Iran, and has offered a spokesperson job to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who has allegedly been using the product in the 20 month run-up to the nuclear deal completed last year. The product is not currently available in Iran, and rumor has it the Rouhani had some shipped illicitly from France.
Just for Men is hair dye specifically marketed to men to gradually darken hair, beards, mustaches, and sideburns. The product is already available in Israel, but nowhere else in the Middle East. Kelly’s research indicates that there are loads and loads of beards in the rest of the Middle East, largely for religious reasons, with nary a hair care product available on the market. He is also confident that his product to darken grey hair (beards) would be allowed under most religious laws in the region. Kelly expects Rouhani to accept his offer as soon as Combe’s corporate plane full of US dollars lands in Tehran.
Combe Incorporated is a privately held company founded in 1949, with world headquarters in White Plains, New York.