Bioré apologises for ‘dystopian’ influencer ad referencing school shooting

By Alessandro Carrara | Published: 23-May-2023

The video was met with an immediate backlash, with users calling out the brand and influencer Cecilee Max-Brown for being insensitive to the shooting in February

Bioré has issued an apology after an influencer referred to a school shooting in an partnership post promoting the brand’s pore strips.

The video sees influencer Cecilee Max-Brown discussing her anxieties after surviving the Michigan State University shooting in February 2023, which claimed the lives of three students.

The clip, which has since been deleted, then shows her promoting the Japan-based skin care brand’s pore strips as a way to “strip away the stigma of anxiety”.

“Life has thrown countless obstacles at me this year – from a school shooting to having no idea what life is going to look like after college,” she said in the video, which was viewed more than five million times.

“In support of Mental Health Awareness Month, I’m partnering with Bioré Skincare to strip away the stigma of anxiety.”

The video faced immediate backlash, with social media users calling it insensitive and even dystopian.

“Instead of having a nervous breakdown three years ago, and ending up in a psych ward for a month, I should have just used Biore pore strips,” said one user.

Another added: “TLDR they used a school shooting to sell strips in an ad.”

“School shootings are scary. But not as scary as blackheads. Try Bioré pore strips today,” one person posted on Twitter.

In response Bioré created an Instagram post fully apologising for the posted content.

“This is our mistake, and we own it. We let our community down and our creators down by not providing better guidance,” the post by Bioré read.

“We know a lot of you are angry at us right now, and we get it. We just ask that you direct any anger our way, not towards the creators themselves.”

Max-Brown has also apologised for the post, stating that she did not intend to come off as the product “fixing the struggles” of the shooting.

“I did not mean to desensitise the traumatic event that took place as I know the effects it has had on me and the Spartan community,” her apology read. “I take accountability for this and will ensure to be smarter in the future,” she continued.

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