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Skincare brand issues apology after influencer references school shooting in sponsored post

Emily Brown

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Skincare brand issues apology after influencer references school shooting in sponsored post

Featured Image Credit: @cecileemax/TikTok

Bioré skincare has issued an apology after influencer Cecilee Max-Brown referenced a school shooting while making a sponsored post for one of its products.

Max-Brown shared the post last week on TikTok, where she showed herself using Bioré deep cleansing pore strips as part of the company's campaign for Mental Health Awareness Month.

In the video, which has since been deleted, Max-Brown detailed a 'day in the life' for her followers, which involved exercising and attending a basketball game at Michigan State University (MSU), before she went home to apply facial serum and use the Bioré pore strips.

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Max-Brown filmed herself using the strips while discussing anxiety. Credit: TikTok/@cecileemax
Max-Brown filmed herself using the strips while discussing anxiety. Credit: TikTok/@cecileemax

Bioré's campaign aimed to 'strip away the stigma of anxiety', but Max-Brown's video was hit with backlash after she referenced the MSU school shooting among reasons she'd been struggling this year.

“Life has thrown countless obstacles at me this year," Max-Brown said, before adding: "From a school shooting to having no idea what life is going to look like after college."

Three people, all students, were killed in the shooting that took place in February, and another five were critically injured in the attack.

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“We want you to get it all out," she said. "Not only what’s in your pores but, most importantly, what’s on your mind, too.

“I found myself recently struggling from seeing the effects of gun violence first-hand. I will never forget the feeling of terror that I had walking around campus for weeks in a place I considered home.”

Max-Brown referenced the recent shooting in her video. Credit: TikTok/@cecileemax
Max-Brown referenced the recent shooting in her video. Credit: TikTok/@cecileemax

Max-Brown's video quickly went viral, with many shocked internet users branding the ad as insensitive and accusing it of trying to claim that a skincare routine could help to manage the trauma of a school shooting.

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One internet user, who is a survivor of a shooting, commented: “I don’t know why my therapist or docs didn’t tell that Biore pore strips could have helped heal the bullet wound on my stomach, or my anxiety after being shot, or my fear of loud noises, or stop my nightmares, or help me feel ok at school. Firing them and buying in bulk!”

The post was taken down less than 24 hours after it was first posted, and both the influencer and Bioré have now issued apologies in the wake of the backlash.

Max-Brown insisted the video was 'not intended to come off as the product fixing the struggles'.

“I did not mean to desensitize the traumatic event that took place as I know the effects it has had on me and the Spartan community,” Max-Brown said. “I take accountability for this and will ensure to be smarter in the future.”

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In its own post, Bioré acknowledged that a lot of people are 'angry' at the company and asked that the anger be directed at the company, not towards content creators.

Biore issued an apology after the backlash. Credit: TikTok/@bioreus
Biore issued an apology after the backlash. Credit: TikTok/@bioreus

"Our consumers have told us that mental health is one of their biggest priorities, and it is so important for us to be able to provide meaningful support to them around this issue," the company wrote.

"This time, however, we did it the wrong way. We lacked sensitivity around an incredibly serious tragedy, and our tonality was completely inappropriate. We are so sorry."

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The company added that it is 'committed to continuing' its mental health mission, but that it promises to do so 'in a better way' in the future.

Bioré also told the New York Times it will be providing Max-Brown with support in the wake of the backlash.

UNILAD has contacted Max-Brown and Bioré for comment.

Topics: News, US News, Gun Crime, Viral, TikTok

Emily Brown
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