Lush Cosmetic's latest campaign

(46 Posts)
PiousPrat Fri 27-Apr-12 14:59:15

Trigger warning on all links. First video on the left hand side. The company promotional video. The Fwords take on it, infusing link to their twitter feed. The Guardian opinion piece, including parts of a statement released byLush in response to complaints.

Briefly, Lush had a performance artist dressed in a flesh coloured body suit led on a leash to the window of a store on a prominent London shopping street. Once there she was subjected to 10 hours of testing to simulate animal testing, including having her mouth held open and being force fed, by a male 'tester'. No warning of the content was given in the surrounding areas to enable people to avoid it. Emails including links and photos of this campaign were sent to the entire Lush mailing list, again no warnings as the point was to 'shock'.

southeastastra Fri 27-Apr-12 15:06:01

signs petition, good for lush

Lottapianos Fri 27-Apr-12 15:14:18

I read a discussion of this on Irish beauty site The author of the article, quite rightly in my view, pointed out the sexual violence overtones in the photos, particularly the one of a woman having her head held back and white liquid forced into her mouth. Quite a few people responded saying they couldn't see what all the fuss was about, nothing remotely sexual about it shock

The photos are sickening and certainly make me think of sexual violence and torture porn. The potential for triggering horrendous flashbacks for sexual violence survivors is huge and I think the whole campaign was highly irresponsible.

slug Fri 27-Apr-12 15:37:24

Dear God. They're just as bad a PETA who seem to think an appropriate way to publicise animal cruelty is to present images of women reduced to bits of meat.

The sexualisation of the violence is incredibly triggering. If they really wanted to make an impact they should have used naked men instead as that's so much more shocking than naked, brutalised women which is, let's face it, quite commonplace in our society. hmm

craziemazie Fri 27-Apr-12 16:14:36

I have seen the video and it didn't make me think about sexual violence - it reminded me of those rabbits in testing labs.

I saw suffering but not any overtones due to it being a woman.

StewieGriffinsMom Fri 27-Apr-12 16:49:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MoralDerangement Fri 27-Apr-12 16:52:07

Lush support terrorists (hunt sabs) so this is probably a step up for them.

KeepOrfThemCarbs Fri 27-Apr-12 16:55:55

I agree totally with slug and SGM. Dear god. It is the kind of thing 6th formers would think up for 'shock' value.

ElephantsAndMiasmas Fri 27-Apr-12 17:26:34

I think it's bollocks. Judging by their statement they were MEANING to capitalise on the oppression of women: "It would have been disingenuous at best to have pretended that a male subject could represent such systemic abuse." Yet they totally failed to care about the implications of the fact that they were CREATING and USING images of violence against women for their cause, however good that cause might be.

Maybe Women's Aid should collect stories of some of the abuses meted out to women in this country, and enact them (or look to be enacting them) on animals, in a shop window somewhere in central London. Throw "acid" in the face of a puppy or get a bloke to pretend to rape a kitten, and see how the British public's hearts and minds are won over by that hmm.

They wouldn't be of course, there would be outrage, for the same reason that this campaign is shit, because the public ACTUALLY has been socialised to care MORE about the welfare of animals than that of women.

KeepOrfThemCarbs Fri 27-Apr-12 17:30:50

That's a great post elephants.

I find that fanatic animal rights activists often have very little sense of humanity.

StewieGriffinsMom Fri 27-Apr-12 17:51:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lovecat Fri 27-Apr-12 17:56:07

God, that was horribly upsetting to watch.

Lush have lost my business.

Bibulus Fri 27-Apr-12 17:57:56

They wouldn't be of course, there would be outrage, for the same reason that this campaign is shit, because the public ACTUALLY has been socialised to care MORE about the welfare of animals than that of women

My understanding was that this was the intention - a spokesperson for Lush said that if it had been a beagle in the window they would have been immediately arrested.

I think it was a powerful image which achieved its purpose of making people talk and think about animal abuse, and I signed the petition. Good for Lush I say.

AbigailAdams Fri 27-Apr-12 17:59:03

Great post Elephants. Reversing the scenario really brings home how awful this is.

I am stunned that they deliberately used women's oppression to illustrate their point. I suppose I was hoping that it was immature shock tactics. But no, they actually applied some critical analysis to get to that point and then thought that was OK hmm.

KeepOrfThemCarbs Fri 27-Apr-12 18:28:42

Yes abigail - that fact that they think that they are standing up for the oppression of women makes it worse. I would prefer that they had just been thoughtless.

StewieGriffinsMom Fri 27-Apr-12 19:37:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Beachcomber Fri 27-Apr-12 19:56:54

I haven't looked at the links yet but I think I know what you are talking about - came across some images on the Daily Mail website.

It is just wrong.

And what Elephants said so well.

Beachcomber Fri 27-Apr-12 19:58:09

Plus - if you have to post a trigger warning, you know something is wrong.

(Bravo OP for having the sensitivity to post said warning. Thank you.)

southeastastra Fri 27-Apr-12 20:49:34

the actor was a performance artist and to be honest it got me to look

i noticed someone dressed up as an animal outside our local lush and know understand what this is about

animals don't have a voice do they, and i was surprised that animal testing does still go on so if they've reached me bet i'm not alone.

to be honest the 'acting' was no worse that something in Saw movie type things. but they actually happen still for animals

good for them really.

QwertyGerty Fri 27-Apr-12 20:54:33

MoralDerangement, comparing hunt sabs to terrorists is ridiculous and completely ignorant!

I think Lush's anti-vivisection campaign is excellent.

MoralDerangement Fri 27-Apr-12 20:56:50

Ignorant of what?

QwertyGerty Fri 27-Apr-12 20:59:47

Hunt sabs are not terrorists. Hunters on the other hand...

StewieGriffinsMom Fri 27-Apr-12 21:41:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

southeastastra Fri 27-Apr-12 21:49:12

it isn't in the media at all stewie

StewieGriffinsMom Fri 27-Apr-12 21:57:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

southeastastra Fri 27-Apr-12 21:58:54

i don't read magzines with interviews with pink or alicia silverstone though

it's a good campaign

BasilFoulEggs Fri 27-Apr-12 22:02:49

tbh I also thought animal testing for cosmetics had more our less died out, to the extent that not testing on animals is no longer the usp that it used to be for the body shop all those years ago

cd never stand lush anyway, another reason not to buy there.

MrsMcNulty Fri 27-Apr-12 22:13:42

I saw this in the media and felt sick and very very angry. Do you think, just for a change, they could not have used a young/thin/conventionally attractive woman who appears at a glance naked, to brutalise and abuse? I will not be buying from Lush again, ever. Men taking photos of her in that shop window made me feel sick - doubt very much they were thinking of the poor ickle bunnies really...

Bibulus Sat 28-Apr-12 07:20:46

The woman wasn't a model, she is a performance artist and volunteered for this. Attractiveness or otherwise didn't have anything to do with it?? how many people do you think would put themselves up for something as horrific as that? she was not just some 'young thin' model but an intelligent woman and very brave to do it

Bibulus Sat 28-Apr-12 07:22:23

think a few posts on this thread have really come into danger of objectifying that woman - ironic eh!

BasilFoulEggs Sat 28-Apr-12 08:11:40

you know, the argument that because somebody volunteers to do something, that makes that something automatically okay, is really not a very robust one. People volunteer to do all sorts of shit things. The fact of them volunteering, doesn't stop a shit bing from being shit.

BasilFoulEggs Sat 28-Apr-12 08:13:02

shit thing, even

skrumle Sat 28-Apr-12 08:20:50

"The woman wasn't a model, she is a performance artist and volunteered for this. Attractiveness or otherwise didn't have anything to do with it?? how many people do you think would put themselves up for something as horrific as that? she was not just some 'young thin' model but an intelligent woman and very brave to do it"

really? you think they couldn't have found an overweight 55yo to do it? they just happened to end up with woman they did?

i don't like the campaign and i think it smacks of "no such thing as bad publicity" for Lush as a business. i've never shopped in their stores because i can't cope with the smell, but I have ordered online from them - never again...

StewieGriffinsMom Sat 28-Apr-12 09:18:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mellowcat Sat 28-Apr-12 09:26:00

I think the best response is to ignore, ignore, ignore and hope they go away. I liked Lush and frequently shopped there, but this is a step to far and I will no longer buy their products.

Two wrongs don't make a right.

StewieGriffinsMom Sat 28-Apr-12 09:57:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KRITIQ Sat 28-Apr-12 09:58:45

Big mistake for Lush, for all the reasons cited here. I don't think it will change any minds on animal testing but will alienate big sections of their quite niche market of young women.

There are alternative suppliers of cruelty free products like Co-op, M and S, Superdrug for starters. The BUAV website has a list. Remember to write to Lush and explain why you'll no longer shop there.

southeastastra Sat 28-Apr-12 10:51:00

would you lot have complained as much if a man had been the performance artist?

MrsMcNulty Sat 28-Apr-12 11:35:26

That's not the point, it is always (see Peta's equally vomit inducing "campaigns") a woman

mellowcat Sat 28-Apr-12 11:45:10

I don't think I have complained as such, and know very little about the issues raised on this board. I just happened to click on the link and found the few seconds that I watched to be deeply disturbing.

I have never boycotted anything in my life but cannot imagine wanting to buy anything from a company that thinks this kind of advertising is acceptable, and I do believe it is advertising because at the end of the day Lush wants to sell products and seems happy to jump on any bandwaggon to get their name out there.

In answer to your question, I would have found it equally disgusting, though perhaps not as upsetting, if the victim had been a man - not exactly likely though is it? Just as it is unlikely that the perpetrator would be acted by a woman. Who said scientists and perpetrators can only be men anyway?

Bibulus Sat 28-Apr-12 11:59:13

StewieGriffinsMom - me too, me too....

KRITIQ Sat 28-Apr-12 12:31:03

Southeastastra, the point of the complaint is that Lush deliberately chose to use a young female performance actor because their aim was to draw parallels with abuse and exploitation of women. Firstly, they knew it would only gain sufficient attention with a female subject. And, their press statements clearly state that they wanted to convey that society "permits" abuse and exploitation of animals in a way that we wouldn't accept if it happened to a woman.

But, we ALL know that our society is quite happy to accept the widespread abuse and exploitation of women and girls. Just look at all the lionising of convicted rapist Ched Evans for starters.

It would have been equally unacceptable if the performance actor had been a person of colour of either sex, or a disabled person of either sex. It is true that both experience institutional abuse and exploitation, but pretending that society "cares" about their welfare and likewise should care about the welfare of animals is at best extreme naivity and at worst, patronising and insulting.

One can support animal rights, women's rights, racial equality, etc. at the same time. Imho, it's a dangerous mistake to start putting oppression into league tables of any kind, then arguing that things are so much worse for group x because they are just that little bit better for group y. That's what Lush have done. Bad, bad move.

Backinthebox Sat 28-Apr-12 12:43:48

Lush are full of dodgy motives, have been for years. It does not surprise me that they have chosen to compare animal testing with female oppression when in the past they have given money to groups that actively encourage and partake in dangerous and illegal guerilla action. (I am talking about Plane Stupid, Hunt Saboteurs Association, Sea Shepherd, among others.) Regardless of whether you agree with the things Lush oppose, the way they follow their beliefs is wrong.

mellowcat Sat 28-Apr-12 12:48:24

It is also a spectacular own goal, in my mind I don't immediately think of Lush as being against animal testing, I will forever associate them with the abuse of people.

KRITIQ Sat 28-Apr-12 12:53:02

Well yes, and they are forgetting that their customer base is young women, probably a quarter of whom will have experienced sexual abuse or relationship abuse, possibly not unlike what they were re-enacting in their shop window.

Personally speaking, I oppose fox hunting, hare coursing, etc., but I am also aware that many of the men within the hunt sab movement are just as misogynist as those in any other left, right or centre political movement. One can be a misogynist at any point on the political spectrum.

What backinthebox said.

On a personal level, their products stink and make me feel thoroughly uncomfortable walking past, and set of allergies in quite a lot of people.

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