The beauty industry is known for being softer and easier going than its prickly sister fashion. Generally, there is a respect and warmth between journalists, PRs and brand owners. Sometimes though, tricky situations or negative news comes up – this week a few such stories have been garnering interest.
1) Irresponsibly encouraging purchase: news on brands pushing their wares on those that can’t afford them through companies like Klarna. This ‘buy now – pay later’ system has seen a huge increase in use during pandemic. According to Cosmetic Business it’s the fourth largest fintech company in the world.
2) Brands not encouraging influencers to be responsible about paid partnerships: when recruiting them to work with clients, how much responsibility does the brand have to make sure they are adhering to ASA rules?
3) Questions around diversity and inclusion: some companies are being called out on being too slow to move. For example, Unilever have only just announced they will be dropping the word ‘fair’ from their ‘Fair & Lovely’ skin lightening cream.
So, from a journalist’s point of view, how best to deal with the uncomfortable questions? I say be as straight as you can. Tackle this issue head on rather than skirting round it. Maybe even turn it around to show a different take on it.
Last week my inbox was full of e-mails from PRs based on Gwyneth Paltrow’s questionable SPF application. They used what was a negative news story and made it into a positive opportunity for their client.
Hats off to them.
What Rosie Thinks…
“How to make a new indie brand interesting? With a well put-together press release that plays to its strengths. This one does it beautifully. It presents a young (24), dynamic (went to Oxford) founder with an authentic back story (mixed hair oils with her Indian grandmother). Then combines with superb still life to elevate the look. Well worth the investment.