From November 26, 2021, Lush will close all brand, retail and people accounts on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and Snapchat and invest in “new ways to connect” with consumers, building up “better communication channels elsewhere”, the company said. The policy would be rolled out across all 48 countries where the cosmetics major operated.
Lush said that, for now, it would maintain its presence on Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest.
In a company statement, Lush said information from “courageous whistleblowers” had outlined “known harms” young people were exposed to due to current algorithms and loose regulation of social media, strengthening its decision to come off select platforms.
“We hope that platforms will introduce strong best practice guidelines, and we hope that international regulation will be passed into law. But we can’t wait,” the company said.
Social media the ‘antithesis’ of relaxation and switching off
Jack Constantine, chief data officer and product inventor at Lush, said: “As an inventor of bath bombs, I pour all my efforts into creating products that help people switch off, relax and pay attention to their social wellbeing. Social media platforms have become the antithesis of this aim, with algorithms designed to keep people scrolling and stop them from switching off and relaxing.”
Mark Constantine OBE, co-founder, CEO and product inventor at Lush, added: “There is now overwhelming evidence we are being put at risk when using social media. I’m not willing to expose my customers to this harm, so it’s time to take it out of the mix.”
In September last year, a cosmetic claims expert told CosmeticsDesign-Europe social media platforms had become a “virulent source” of misinformation that could have damaging long-term effects on the beauty industry.
Dr Theresa Callaghan, CEO and owner of Callaghan Consulting International, said the worldwide social media boom had created an “architecture of misinformation” that was able to quickly erode credible and authoritative science and evidence in the cosmetics industry. The rise of the ‘clean beauty’, ‘non-toxic’ and ‘chemical free’ movements were strong examples of such misinformation gaining ground, Callaghan said.
Brand control over social networks questioned
A study published last year also suggested cosmetics brands had limited control of content within their social media networks, with languages, time zones and large followings making it complicated to govern consumer interactions. Researchers from the University of South Carolina investigated the Sephora and Ulta Beauty Twitter networks – a platform Lush would, for now, remain present on – and concluded both beauty majors had “limited control” over these networks, especially engagement with branded handles and hashtags.
Lush said consumers wanting to continue engaging on the likes of Twitter and YouTube did not have to like, subscribe or get notifications; just visit these platforms when they wanted to.