Lush has ‘overstepped the mark’ with its anti-police advertising campaign, according to 92% of people polled (PR Week).
And it’s been a disaster! A total washout. They’ve thrown the baby out with the bath water!
They’ve had shops take the adverts down because of intimidation.
They are running the campaign for three weeks but will be reviewing it.
Social media has gone crazy – a massive negative backlash.
Customers are boycotting the stores in their droves.
They’ve launched a political campaign that has nothing to do with their products.
If that’s not a PR disaster, I don’t know what is!
They still haven’t really told us why they’ve gone big on the campaign that on the grand scheme of things, didn’t affect that many people. I’m not taking away the fact that many people have been left traumatised if they were involved, but the way they’ve done the campaign, you’d think that every officer is involved. Which of course, they’re not.
If they were going for lots of publicity, they’ve done it.
If they wanted to be high profile – tick here too!
But they’ve also upset a huge chunk of their client base, many of which won’t be shopping there again – including me.
It’s a campaign that will be referenced many times in the future – it won’t be the last we hear of it. It will become a comparison of how badly someone else has messed their campaign up. We’ll read ‘not as bad as Lush’s anti-police campaign of 2018…’
It’s a learning point for the rest of us – a warning, of the perils of mixing a political agenda with your product, your reputation and what your customers expect of you.
And this last point is the main problem – we didn’t expect to have a campaign like this from a company that essentially, sells bath smellies.
On the plus side, other retailers did jump in on Twitter to suggest that you could buy similar products to Lush ones without the political agenda to soak in.
And this is a cheeky thing to do; jump on the band wagon, get your own social media attention off the back of it and make light to your customers.
And remember – it’s always how you handle a PR Crisis that counts. You can read more here in my previous blog ‘Crisis Communications – what would you do if your reputation was at risk?’