A TikTok video promoting Bioré has gone viral for its reference to the Michigan State shooting.
The Ad Referenced a Tragic Event
Influencer, Cecilee Max-Brown, has experienced unimaginable challenges this year, most notably surviving a deadly school shooting earlier at Michigan State University.
She Found Herself Entangled in Controversy
Recently, she found herself entangled in controversy when an ad in partnership with a skincare brand referenced the tragic event.
She Discusses Facing Hardships
The ad begins with Max-Brown opening up about her hardships, including the harrowing school incident and the uncertainties of post-college life.
‘Life Has Thrown Countless Obstacles’
She says, “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.
In Support of Mental Health Awareness Month, I’m partnering with Bioré Skincare to strip away the stigma of anxiety. We want you to get it all out, not only what’s in your pores but, most importantly, what’s on your mind too.”
The ‘Terror’ She Endured After the Incident
However, her genuine intention to support mental health awareness during the month was overshadowed by her mention of the school incident and the “terror” she endured for weeks afterward.
It Was Tragic
The incident she refers to occurred at the Michigan State University campus in February, resulting in the tragic loss of three students.
People Were Disgusted With the Ad
The fallout from the ad’s release was intense, with an outpouring of impassioned criticism directed at both Max-Brown and Bioré, the brand associated with the ad.
Response From the Influencer
In response to the backlash, Max-Brown took to TikTok to apologize, saying, “I am so sorry about this partnership video.
This was strictly meant to spread awareness about the struggles that I have had with anxiety. This partnership was not intending to come off as the product fixing the struggles I’ve [had] since this event.
Rather, partnering with a brand to spread awareness of what me and so many other students have been dealing with.”
Addressing the Insensitivity
Max-Brown was quick to acknowledge the insensitivity of her words, stating that she “did not mean to desensitize the traumatic event” and recognizing the profound impact it has had on her life and others within the community.
She’s Taking This as a Learning Experience
“I take accountability for this and will ensure to be smarter in the future,” she pledged, displaying a sincere desire to learn from the situation and grow as an individual.
Bioré Wanted to Speak Out
Meanwhile, Bioré, the skincare brand involved, also responded to the controversy.
‘We Are So Sorry’
A spokesperson for Bioré said in a statement on Instagram, “We lacked sensitivity around an incredibly serious tragedy, and our tonality was completely inappropriate. We are so sorry.”
Proceeding With Their Mental Health Mission
The brand pledged to proceed with its mental health mission more thoughtfully in the future, acknowledging the importance of raising awareness without causing further harm or distress.
Questioning Bioré’s Marketing Choices
“Cannot for the life of me fathom who on the Bioré marketing team saw this and was like, ‘yes, this content is exactly what we were looking for!'” a user commented.
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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / CarlosBarquero. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.