Angry Lush Cosmetics cancels Facebook and other social media accounts – WWD


ON AGAIN, OFF AGAIN: British beauty brand Lush Cosmetics is (once again) taking a stand against social media, this time following testimony from Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen that the site harms children and fosters political violence and hatred in line.

Lush said he was disappointed that the Facebook owner, who changed his name to Meta last month, “knows of the very real damage done to his platform, but chooses not to act.” The beauty brand has therefore decided to unplug Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat on Friday, during a key week for the holiday sales in the United States and the United Kingdom.

The company said it would “turn its back on these platforms” until they take steps to provide a more secure environment for users. Facebook and Instagram are owned by Meta, while TikTok’s parent is ByteDance. The owners of Snapchat are co-founders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy.

Lush said his resolve has been strengthened by the latest information from “courageous whistleblowers, who clearly expose the known harms young people are exposed to as a result of current algorithms and loose regulation of this new area of ​​our lives.”

The latest policy is being rolled out in the 48 countries where Lush operates.

“At Lush, we don’t want to wait for better global regulations or platforms to introduce best practice guidelines, as a generation of young people grow up and suffer serious and lasting damage. Now is a good time to find better ways to connect without putting our customers at risk, ”the company said.

“It’s not enough for companies to stop placing paid advertising; people and their time are the currency of these channels, and we don’t want our content to be used by hidden algorithms designed to keep people captive on a channel, ”Lush added.

A spokesperson for Lush said that in the future the company – known for its bath bombs, scented soaps and freshly made products – will leverage its own channels, including its e-commerce site, its corporate site, applications and retail network, to communicate with its audience.

It will also work with platforms that “we think we take wellness more seriously, like YouTube, Twitter, Reddit, and Pinterest – not platforms that use gambling site algorithms to enable you to scroll longer “.

Lush has over a million combined subscribers on the platforms he plans to leave.

On an earnings call last month, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg responded to the whistleblower’s allegations. He highlighted Meta’s investments in safety and security, which are on track to more than $ 5 billion in 2022. He also discussed the formation of an oversight board and research efforts, and presented the company as constantly working on transparency.

Lush made a similar move in 2019 and stopped posting on Instagram and Facebook due to “growing concerns about the degree of control” of large platforms “over the number of people.”

At the time, Lush claimed that interactions on Facebook and Instagram were “controlled for no other reason than to profit from it,” while the idea that “a primary channel of communication with our customers could be regulated by a third party was of concern. “

Lush restored those social media feeds during the lockdown in an effort to stay in touch with customers. But it wasn’t worth it, Lush said earlier this week, and the company believes its teenage customers, in particular, have suffered during the pandemic.

The company pointed to research showing that teens who tried to detox from their technology during the pandemic “underscored how difficult it was. Anxiety, FOMO, and ghost alerts have all contributed to many being unable to stay offline for more than a few hours.

Other brands may soon follow Lush, but for other reasons. New research shows that platforms like Facebook are no longer as powerful as they used to be for brands.

According to Twilio, a San Francisco-based cloud communications platform, social media interactions between brands and their customers are on the decline.

Twilio, which provides the technology to help businesses connect with their customers, said it looked at social media “conversations” between 100 of the UK’s top brands and their customers between July 2020 and July 2021. He has found that retail brands saw a 46% reduction. conversation volume during the period, while fashion and clothing declined 36%. Twilio said the trend was similar for other industries as well. Financial services saw a 62% reduction in Twitter conversations over the same period.

In another business survey last year, Twilio found that UK businesses plan to add an average of 3.5 new communication channels to their customer engagement strategy. Twilio hypothesized that these new channels could contribute to “a continuing decline” in brand-customer interactions on social media.

David Parry-Jones, Senior Vice President, EMEA at Twilio, says with “an ever-increasing number of digital touchpoints, companies are presented with a gold mine of customer information.” Ultimately, those who win when it comes to customer engagement will be the ones who harness that first-party data to create truly personalized experiences that reflect customer needs.

Going forward, Lush said it wouldn’t be completely anti-social, “and we will do all we can to find new ways to connect, to create better channels of communication elsewhere, as well as using old and proven routes. and tested “.

Lush isn’t the only brand leaving some platforms: Earlier this year, Bottega Veneta deactivated its social media accounts, instead preferring to promote its products through fan sites and influencers. But now that Daniel Lee is gone and Matthieu Blazy has taken on the leading creative role, it’s unclear if this policy will hold up.

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