Lush shuns social media in user safety protest

A Lush shop.
Lush shuns social media in user safety protest
Duncan is an award-winning editor with more than 20 years experience in journalism. Having launched his tech journalism career as editor of Arabian Computer News in Dubai, he has since edited an array of tech and digital marketing publications, including Computer Business Review, TechWeekEurope, Figaro Digital, Digit and Marketing Gazette.

British cosmetics retailer Lush has ditched social media in protest at what it deems to be a lack of action taken by the social media networks to improve user welfare.

From November 26, the brand has turned its back on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and Snapchat, until the platforms take action to provide a safer environment for users. This policy is rolling out across all the 48 countries where Lush operates.  

In the same way that evidence against climate change was ignored and belittled for decades, concerns about the serious effects of social media are going largely ignored now, according to Lush. 

Now, the company is taking matters into its own hands and addressing the issues, not waiting around until others believe in the problem before changing its own behaviour, a Lush spokesperson explained.

A company statement read: “Like so many teenagers have experienced before us, Lush has tried to come off social media, but our FOMO is vast, and our compulsion to use the various platforms means we find ourselves back on there, despite our best intentions.

“So here we are again, trying to go cold (plant-based) turkey. Having previously attempted this in 2019, our resolve has been strengthened by all the latest information from courageous whistleblowers, which clearly lays out the known harms that young people are exposed to because of the current algorithms and loose regulation of this new area of our lives.

Jack Constantine, CDO and product inventor, 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 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.” 

Some social media platforms are beginning to feel like places no one should be encouraged to go, according to Lush, adding: “We wouldn’t ask our customers to meet us down a dark and dangerous alleyway.”

Lush stated that it hopes platforms will introduce strong best practice guidelines, and that international regulation will be passed into law.  But we can’t wait.  We feel forced to take our own action to shield our customers from the harm and manipulation they may experience whilst trying to connect with us on social media. 

Mark Constantine,co-founder and CEO, Lush, said: “I’ve spent all my life avoiding putting harmful ingredients in my products. 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.”

The company still has a presence on Twitter and YouTube.

Interested in hearing leading global brands discuss subjects like this in person? Find out more about Digital Marketing World Forum (#DMWF) Europe, London, North America, and Singapore.

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