Bioré and influencer apologize after after-school shooting ad

Skincare brand Bioré apologized this week after facing criticism that a paid social media post advertising its products had both trivialized and exploited the issue of gun violence by America.

An influencer and Michigan State University graduate, Cecilee Max-Brown, had posted a Bioré-sponsored TikTok in which she explained how a campus shooting in February affected her mental health as well as stressors like her post-career. academic, narrating on videos that show her alternating between exercising, resting and using skincare products.

The video was quickly taken down on Friday, less than 24 hours after it was posted, after social media users said it was insensitive and noticed the stark contrast between the upbeat nature of the video and its focus on people. skincare, and the tragedy it evoked.

Ms Max-Brown said the shooting in Michigan State in February caused her anxiety attacks and filled her with “terror” on campus. Three students were killed in the shooting and five others were injured.

The company apologized on Sunday for the video, saying it had “lack of sensitivity around an incredibly serious tragedy” and that its “tone was completely inappropriate”.

The company said it’s “failing our community and we’re failing our creators by not providing better guidance.”

A spokesperson said Ms Max-Brown’s video was part of a larger mental health awareness campaign and that she did not ask her to speak about a specific experience, but encouraged Ms Max -Brown “to tell his personal, authentic and unfiltered story. .”

Bioré said he reviews all content from creators, but generally does not “edit or censor content,” especially when it comes to mental health.

Ms Max-Brown posted a written apology on TikTok on Sunday and said she would be “smarter in the future”. She did not respond to a request for comment.

“Life has thrown countless obstacles at me this year – from a school shooting to not knowing what life will be like after college,” says Ms Max-Brown, who graduated this month here in the video. “In support of Mental Health Awareness Month, I’m partnering with Bioré Skincare to eliminate the stigma of anxiety.”

“We want you to take it all out,” she continues. “Not only what’s in your pores, but more importantly what you’re thinking too.”

As the video continues, Ms Max-Brown discusses the harrowing reality of school shootings in the United States before the tone abruptly shifts to paid promotion and she says, “Join me and Bioré Skincare to talk about the Mental Health.

In her apology on Sunday, Ms Max-Brown said “this partnership was not intended to present itself as the product fixing the struggles that I have had since the event,” she said. “Rather, partnering with a brand to bring awareness to what I and so many other students have faced.”

The company apologized on Sunday for the video, which was one of many posted by various influencers as part of the company’s campaign for Mental Health Awareness Month in May. In other videos, influencers talk about the anxiety and stress they experienced after a car accident, becoming a mother and being bullied.

Bioré apologized over the weekend on his social media accounts. In an emailed statement, the company said its customers prioritize mental health and that it has worked to reflect those values ​​for the past four years.

A Bioré representative said the company had been in contact with Ms Max-Brown more than once since the video was posted and planned to continue to support her. The rep declined to say how much Ms Max-Brown was paid for the job.

The video was released just before the one-year anniversary of an elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, which left 19 students and two teachers dead. There have been more than 230 mass shootings in the United States this year, according to Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit research group that tracks gun violence.

As of Monday morning, Ms Max-Brown had more than 27,600 followers on TikTok, where she posts videos about college life, makeup and trimming. She’s made other brand partnership videos in the past, including with Bioré, and had also posted about the set after it happened in February.

In a since-deleted two-minute video posted the week of filming, Ms Max-Brown spoke about what it was like during filming and shared her frustrations about how people choose to ‘protect a gun more than you can’t protect people. lives.”

“I don’t want people to have to go through this in their lives,” she says in the video. “It sucks. I haven’t slept in days because all I can think of is my classmates, I know, are literally getting killed.


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