The fashion and beauty blogosphere was up in arms this week (and rightly so) over the launch of M.A.C and Rodarte’s new joint make-up range, controversially named ‘Juarez’ after an impoverished Mexican town known for its violence against young women.
The decision to name a product range aimed at 18 – 35 year old women after a town renowned for its violence against 18 – 35 year old women is questionable at best… And as the news filtered through and the levels of outrage online increased, one can only imagine being a fly on the wall at M.A.C HQ as the implications of the range’s name started to sink in.
What is truly fascinating though is what happened after that, as the M.A.C PR machine was thrust into full swing. At first, the press office moved to simply apologise and quieten its critics. A statement released soon after the controversy broke stated: “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.”
The following day, the Estee Lauder owned company pledged to do exactly what it should have in the first place: donate a portion of the profits from the M.A.C Rodarte range to women in need in Juarez.
It begs the question then that, if the launch had been positioned as an intended rise in awareness of the violence in Juarez, it would have been considered a PR coup. Instead, due to not thinking the details through, a potentially positive initiative was turned into a PR disaster.
Goes to show that you never can and never should underestimate the importance of a good old Q&A!