Wednesday 21 July 2010

Thoughts on the MAC Rodarte controversy

It was interesting watching the beauty blogging world explode in collective rage at the MAC Rodarte collection that is due to be released in September. In case you haven't read about what's causing so much anger, I recommend reading these posts on British Beauty Blogger and Make-up by Katy. To soothe the outrage, MAC has announced that it will be changing the product names in the collection (e.g. Factory, Juarez) and making a $100,000 donation to a non-profit organisation that has a proven track record of improving the lives of women in Juarez, a Mexico border town notorious for the large numbers of missing and murdered young women. Rodarte has also issued an apology.

As other bloggers have already written eloquently on this issue, I thought I'd just make a few observations here.

1. The cynic in me thinks that someone in MAC or Rodarte's PR office is probably still laughing because there's no such thing as bad publicity. Never before have so many beauty blogs covered a MAC collection simultaneously. Rodarte was even less well known outside of the fashion world before all this.

2. After this has blown over, as most controversies inevitably do, people will probably continue to chase the next limited edition MAC collection. The profits that MAC makes from one limited edition collection are probably far in excess of $100,000.

3. The ad visual for this collection is completely vile. It may work for the fashion world (remember heroin chic?) but definitely not for the average consumer.

4. The Quinceanera blush looks like it is streaked with rivulets of blood.

5. Anyone notice how the biggest beauty blogs that receive truckloads of MAC products as press samples regularly have not said anything negative about MAC and Rodate in this entire fiasco? Instead, they are busy hobnobbing with MAC artists on Twitter. And everytime you view their blog, you are adding to their ad revenue stream by adding to their number of page impressions.

6. Unlike MAC, Rodarte has not put its money where its mouth is. Why doesn't Rodarte donate all the royalties that it will receive from MAC for this collection?

7. My guess is that this collection will still sell because some consumers are either not aware of the controversy or do not care about it enough to boycott MAC. What would be really sad would be if these products became even more sought after after all this publicity.

8. Aside from boycotting MAC, why not do something that actually makes a difference? You may not be able to do much about the horrific situation in Juarez but you can show more kindness and consideration for the people around you. Do a random act of kindness, volunteer, make a donation, spend more time with your parents, help a stranger in need etc. Do something to give thanks that by the lottery of your birth, you do not have to suffer as the women in Juarez do on a daily basis.


Anonymous said...

Oh wow, your comment about the blush looking blood streaked is so accurate. I honestly didn't look at the photos of the products because I thought the model's look was so gross.

Cindy Khor said...

of all the opinions towards this collection, i heart your's the most as i 100% agree with all your statements. i'm starting to get tired of all the hoohaa in the blogosphere and a bit of your opinions lighten up everything. thanks

Anonymous said...

i did know about Juarez but don't care about makeup collections enough to know so it's interesting for me. imo MAC would have gotten less flake if they managed the marketing in a way that celebrated the women but acknowledged the appalling conditions while making a contribution of sorts; and you're right in that it would probably work better in a visually-oriented fashion collection/exhibition; in any case, the spin was just way off... anyway i think $100k is small change to EL, it's obviously nobody was thinking when they pulled this out. -stella

galpal.hi said...

You are spot on with your opinions on this controversy. I will admit that if it were not for the fact that I've gotten into beauty blogging, I would definitely not know about any of the controversy that's been going on.

I totally agree with you on the visual ad for this collection. Just seeing that had turned me off from not wanting to see what the collection was like.

Your last point, #8, I totally agree with. We can do many different RAK's (Random Acts of Kindness) for people right around us. It's something that my family tries to keep in mind and conscientiously look for opportunities to do good for another person, without being asked to. It can be something as simple as holding the door open for an ederly person, etc. We gather as a family at the end of the week and report on what we have done. I think that it's helped our sons to become better individuals.


Anonymous said...

One of the best posts I have read on the subject. Thank you.

engeng said...

So grossed out now after looking at the picture of the blushes..

eri said...

Well said!
I completely agree. And blood is exactly the first thing I thought when I saw those blushes.. Ugh. I would never want to put that on my face.

F L said...

I agree with you absolutely. Thanks for blogging about this. I've a feeling the local beauty bloggers community is ignoring this issue because I've not read a great deal about it. So sad that we're so apathetic in S'pore. 100K for MAC is indeed peanuts. I'll be boycotting the line entirely. Your point about bloggers who keep quiet because they received sponsored MAC products may come across as cynical but it's a valid observation.

Jasmine said...

Well said! I completely agree that we should show kindness to people around us. Actions speak louder than words.

cewek said...

I totally agree with the views that you've succinctly posted.

I've never liked the promo pic; I don't like looking like a ghost/zombie, no matter how haunting the Rodarte collection was!

I'm definitely skipping this collection.

Anonymous said...

That promo picture is not the blush, it's the mineralize eyeshadow. :)

Lenna. said...

I agree with you on the blush, looking at it gives me shivers :S it seems like you're putting on streaks of blood from someone else :S so horrible.

Anonymous said...

i was totally unaware of this issue till i read your post as i had been quite busy with my son for the past 2 weeks. i am not a MAC person to begin with so boycotting will be rather easy for me. i totally agree with you on bloggers who receive freebies tend to keep quite (regardess it's MAC or any other brands.)

I can't comment on this issue much till i read further about it. but thank you so much for bringing it up.

And this is why I love your blog. :)

effortgirl said...

Hi, Iris. After reading this entry, the only thing I can say is "So true".

It is true that any news can always be manipulated by PR and this storm in a teacup will easily blow over.

In the 1st place, not to be cynical, but Estee Lauder makes a LOT of $$ from MAC, it's probably their flagship brand. I do expect such a big firm to have anticipated all the possible outcomes of any makeup campaign, but believe EL either tot they could control it or spin it their way.

It'll be interesting to see how many ppl stop using MAC totally at all in response to this movement.

Btw, I tot I saw u at YCK mrt stn last Fri at 10-ish in the morning. There was a lady that looked like ur profile pic and carried the same gold bag that I remembered u posting abt. I was thinking to myself "shd I go and ask whether she is haru?" But I chickened out in the end. Tot of PM-ing u on flowerpod just to satisfy my curiosity, but realised I didn't know ur FP id. Btw, my FP id is boffan, if you are ok to let me know who u are on FP, just PM me on FP.

kuri said...

Ditto on all your points!

Pink Sith also posted what seemed like a thoughtful analysis of the issue.

I was quite shocked to see the promo image for the collection; they can't claim ignorance of the situation in Juarez.

I'd like to see Rodarte make a useful donation somewhere too.

I hope the publicity will benefit the people in and around Juarez; the publicity for MAC and Rodarte is very unfortunate but hopefully something good will come out of it.

In any case, it's a good time for me to do something that makes a difference.

kab said...

kudos go to you. I totally agree with your thoughts and just recently I heard about this whole controversial so unaware the story but just reading here and there, you are right.

Thanks for sharing your thought.

Nikkia (Silver Lips) said...

I didn't know anything about Juarez until this controversy broke out and after researching I think you have nailed the hammer on its head with each and every point stated. Great Post!

Ti_Amo said...

Yup! I agree with every one of your comments! Is that really the blush? I thought it was the bordertown eyeshadow!

Either way I wasn't going to buy anything from this collection anyways. The ad visual completely put me off as well.

As for boycotting MAC, that's easy to do as their collections are less and less enchanting as time goes on. However, I think time will fade the controversy.

and yes, I'd never heard of Rodarte before all of this!

The Misery Chick said...

I read about it on Temptalia. I was quite shocked by the whole thing.

And $100k donation is measly compared to how much MAC makes. :P

But 1 good thing that came out of this (for me, anyway) is that I am more aware of the situation in Juarez. Heartbreaking. And it's horrid that some of the MAC Rodarte items have the name 'Juarez' and 'Bordertown'.

Anonymous said...

HEAR HEAR! I couldn't agree more.

frecklesspeckles said...

very well said! :)

Hazelnutt said...

Hi, i made an entry wrt the MAC Rodarte issue as well. Not so much to highlight the collection, but more to bring awareness to the chilling episodes in Juarez.

check it out if you're interested :)

Victoria said...

You've made so many great points. I totally agree with you about the publicity. Both companies have to be loving this publicity right now. And then they throw some money at the issue and many of their customers are content with that. And yes, they will forget. So MAC wins.
As a beauty blogger, I didn't know how to handle all of this because it made me so angry while writing a draft post. I don't get anything from MAC and I agree with Ti_Amo, their collections aren't worth buying. It's easy for me to boycott since I haven't bought anything from them in over a year.
I decided to write MAC and Estee a letter because I didn't want them to get publicity. I ,of course, received a lame email back.
What's a beauty blogger to do?

kathyeffingjacobs said...

Definitely the best post I've read on this. Thank you.

F L said...

I couldn't find your email address (sorry, I"m kind of an IT dinosaur; is it that noreply one?). There's something we all can do, sign a petition:

Blogger Healing Beauty has more suggestions:

Please do a small part to make a difference. Thanks.

leechie said...

well said!!!
hav shared abt this MAC Juarez collection on my fb n asked ppl to boycott it!!!

BV said...

I don't really read major beauty blogs that get loads of freebies so thank you for posting on this.

MAC really needs their head examined. I will of course not be buying this but really MAC have treated their fans like crap for so long.

If they aren't releasing limited editions (to milk the collectors out there!) or changing the size of their pigments (but charging the same price).. where does this all end??

I spend less than 5% of my annual makeup expenditure on MAC now - they've just kissed off that 5%!!!!!!!!!
100K is an effing joke too btw...

Ladies - you can make a difference by NOT buying into MAC anymore.

Thank you for this wonderful post!