Thursday, 26 April 2012

Lush Controversial Animal Testing Window Display - My Personal Thoughts

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I really wasn't sure if I was going to write this post as already there are a lot of posts, forums and articles offering their two cents of the controversial subject and I personally wouldn't like to think I have offended anyone, however after thinking about it I thought why not? I whole-heartedly support this cause and I'm fully behind Lush's actions, so I guess this post is just a way to show my support and discuss the backlash.

One point I'd like to cover is that many believe this stunt/performance was overly sexualised and are pointing out that the artist wore a 'sexy' bodysuit... hmmm who finds that sexy? It was up to her neck and made her look almost asexual, naked as an animal or alien-like, exactly their point. Also people have complained that the artist Jacqueline Traide was a pretty young female, I am in no way naive to advertising techniques and without doubt I count myself as a feminist but why should an attractive female artist NOT be used? if she is passionate and willing to support this fantastic campaign 'fat, thin, beautiful, normal' who cares?! Lush's main target audience and customers are female, so why not use a woman. The only thing I wish they'd done was use a female doctor, but then that's my personal view in hindsight and no doubt the media would have construed that as sexual too.

I've also seen a lot of comments regarding how this stunt/performance is not appropriate on the streets for children to see. To a degree I agree with this however, I'm sure it wouldn't be too difficult to hurry your child along and or explain that its 'pretend', 'art' or simply explain the cause (however of course I'm not a parent so perhaps my views would be slightly different if it were my child walking past I'm not sure.) I wasn't there but I have also heard that there were Lush staff stood before the window trying to highlight to people what they were going to see and trying to protect people who may have been offended from the sight.

I believe the people behind this campaign were doing it for the right reasons and I'm 100% behind their campaign, of course they are a company and at the end of the day they want sales but I feel if they were trying to increase sales they wouldn't have had the balls to back and produce such a shocking, thought provoking and controversial campaign. I work for an ethical retailer and I commend Lush on their courage to back this. Okay so bad press is good press right...hmm in this instance I'm not sure. I've seen countless comments of blogs saying they will NEVER buy from Lush again because of this and I'm sure Lush spent a LOT of time debating on how this might shock and offend a proportion of its customers. Lush are not strangers to controversy either: remember their mermaid window display in 2008?

I believe it's fantastic that this shocking display has brought this issue of animal testing in ingredients / products sold in the UK to the forefront of peoples' minds. Personally it has made me rethink about the companies I support regarding their animal testing policies and I hope if anything it has made you do the same, regardless if you support or buy Lush products.

Anyhow of course that is just my personal view on this controversial subject, and I will continue to follow this and hopefully learn more about this campaign. If you would like to read Lush's comments regarding the criticism please read their statement here.  You can also see some photos here, please note I hate the Daily Mail but they had the best photos I could find.


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