Tuesday, July 20, 2010

UPDATE: Consumers complain and MAC drops border themed names for makeup

First there was a bad marketing idea.

Then there were two big apologies.

And now the multi-million dollar cosmetics giant, MAC has decided that the border themed names on its new line of makeup will go away.

Just in case you didn't read our last blog, MAC along with two L.A. fashion designers were planning to launch a cosmetics/fashion collaboration in Fall 2010. The designers, Kate and Laura Mulleavy said they got their inspiration for the collaboration from the Mexican women who go to work in the factories at night in Juarez, Mexico.

Remembering the victims of Juarez
What these designers and the folks at MAC failed to realize is that many of these Juarez women walk to work in fear. They're not inspired to go to work---they're walking in fear, because they walk where hundreds of other women have been raped, tortured and killed.

When news got out that the lip glosses, eye shadows and nail polishes would carry the names such as Juarez, Ghost Town, and Factory: that didn't sit well with many consumers, especially Latinos.

According to reports, both MAC and the Mulleavy's have been bombarded with complaints after the story went viral. Within days MAC and the Mulleavy's Rodarte Company issued apology statements.

Now MAC has decided it's best to change the name of the new makeup line and donate $100,000 to a cause in Juarez. Here's MAC's statement:

We understand that product names in the M•A•C Rodarte collection have offended our consumers and fans. This was never our intent and we are very sorry. We continue to listen carefully to the comments we have received and have the following plans to address concerns:

• We are committed to donating $100,000 to a non-profit organization that has a proven, successful track-record helping women in need and that can directly improve the lives of women in Juarez in a meaningful way.

• We are changing the product names in the M•A•C Rodarte collection.

As we have done in the past, please be assured that we will communicate details regarding our progress in this matter.

MAC management has yet to say whether they will still launch the new line for Fall 2010. The Mulleavy's own the fashion label, Rodarte. They also happen to be part Latinas, because their mother is Mexican. Rodarte also released another statement:

We recognize that the violence against women taking place in Juarez needs to be met with proactive action. We never intended to make light of this serious issue and we are truly sorry.

Helping to improve the conditions for women in Juarez is a priority for us and we are thankful for all the comments calling attention to the urgency of addressing this situation.

Mulleavy sistersAll I know is that your voice was heard! MAC'S decision is proof that consumers count when they voice their complaints and concerns. Companies now-a-days can't afford to lose customers, especially over a bad marketing campaign. I'm hoping other U.S. companies will learn a lesson from MAC.

Hopefully, MAC managers today are hiring experts in the Latino culture, language, customs and history. The only way you avoid a bad idea is to put expert voices in decision making positions. I do applaud MAC for correcting the situation, because you know this will cost the company money to change the names on millions of pieces of makeup.

But I must admit I'm ashamed that the Mulleavy sisters who are part Latinas--don't have a clue about what's going on in the real world. I wonder if they even got out of their car to talk to any of these women in Juarez.  I doubt it.

Rebecca Aguilar
Founder of Wise Latinas Linked

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the blog on this topic, I was not aware. I enjoy using MAC products and am happy to see that the consumers were taken seriously, for a change!


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