While going through a few of my favourite blogs, I chanced upon this huge MAC - Rodarte Controversy that is splitting the blogosphere into two.
For example, one of the nail paints in this line is Juarez.
Juarez is the world's most dangeous and violent town. Everyday, a number of women are abducted on their way to work at factories and brutally raped and murdered. The police is a silent spectator to this atrocity that has been happening for more than 10 years now. The citizens of this town live in abject poverty and fear.
The other products in this range has equally odd names like Factory, Badlands, Sleepless, Ghost Town that are offensive to Latin people and those in Mexico who have been living in very bad conditions for years.
MAC of course has responded quickly and apologised. They have also agreed to donate a portion of the profits to a charity in Juarez. But a lot of bloggers say this is not enough - MAC needs to either withdraw the collection or change the names.
Branding and names in the Make-up industry have gotten very weird over the last few years. NARS is infamous for products like Deep Throat et al. I understand that this maybe helps get attention to the product.
But let's not trivilize someone's misery to name & brand a line. MAC with all it's experts, I am sure could have come up with better names, and I think they should. Let's not use human suffering to peddle makeup.
You can read more about this controversy here and here
What do you think?
Update (21st September 2010): A lot of you may by now be aware, the line has been withdrawn. MAC has unconditionally aplogised and is commited to donating all of the projected profits from the sale of this line.
Was MAC really innocent? Did we as bloggers read too much into the ad? Should an advertiser take responsibility for every petty little element, most especially when the details hint at charges as serious as rape? Can one read too much into an ad?
The average commercial costs half a million dollars to produce and air. In the production phase, thousands of photographs are taken and miles of video are shot. These images are judged, rejected, resized, electronically manipulated, and finally rendered as a finished advertisement. The ads are often relayed back and forth between the ad team, agency executives, the sponsor’s marketing division, and their upper-level management. Companies spend over $200 billion a year on campaigns designed by advertising professionals in the hope that they will capture a sizable piece of the trillion-dollar global market. When the stakes are that high and the process so expensive and laborious, there is no question that every element is indeed intentional.
MAC knew exactly what it was peddling, it was only thanks to beauty bloggers who challenged MAC that this collection was withdrawn.