Lush Stinks & Bombs


Lush – the soap and cosmetic brand – with those overwhelmingly stinky shops at stations and on the high street – have been about for a while and have always pushed a somewhat progressive core brand value. No animal testing, all very vegan – and at least up until yesterday laudable too. But things appear to have taken a rather odd turn… the latest ‘marketing campaign’ for the brand has very little to do with the old slap on the phisog or the fizzling bath bomb, and more to do with undermining covert police operations in a grotesque display of questionable virtue designed to inflame the easily manipulated sensibilities of the Social Justice crowd. It is ALL extremely odd indeed, and appears to be part of some kind of a trend towards businesses committing commercial suicide… it is as if the CEO’s of these organisations are suffering the mass delusion that they are lemmings. (Sorry – I meant ‘identify’ as Lemmings.)

Worryingly, if you aren’t sick to the back teeth of companies that should really know better preaching idiotic and frankly juvenile nonsense about progressive politics as you simply try to go about your business, then you best get the bucket out now – as I have a feeling it’s about to get a whole lot worse.

Beyond the American NFL kneelers making clumsy points about ‘progressive’ politics where it wasn’t wanted and sticking it bravely through to the point that the business was in danger of collapsing, of late we have also seen the ruination Stateside of the once world-leading comics industry and the complete humiliation of decades-long-loved characters of Star Wars in as petulant and holier than thou way as one could imagine. Much to the chagrin of the actual fans, who, as in the case of the NFL, have been staying away in droves, being as fatigued as they are with being preached at and told they are ‘deplorable’ for one reason or another.

These people just don’t seem to learn. Ever.

Which brings me to the stinky soap, slap and social justice merchants over here in Blighty who have taken SJW’ing to a whole new level. I’ll not go into the ins and out of it all – you are welcome to go read it for yourself – but suffice it to say Lush appear to have turned their website into some kind of Hard Left political fanzine. Though God alone knows why.


What were Lush thinking?

The whole thing – the campaign and website – is as bizarre a combination as you could imagine and is possibly the most unhinged attempt to orchestrate mass virtue-signaling ever witnessed. Companies should run commercial websites and stay well clear of politics and religion – a basic marketing lesson you learn as a tea boy in an ad agency.

Sadly, what we are again witnessing here is an outbreak of Marxism. ‘Everything is political’. This appears to be a trend to include a very highly defined, redundant political stance that backs a certain ideology in an overtly partisan way and veritably screams at the top of its metaphorical lungs for any ‘bigots’ that don’t share their penchant for the rehashed radicalised politics of a Century or more back to bugger off. Your money is NOT wanted! Unless you perhaps want a thick lippy in an entirely different way.

“Never talk about religion or politics in the pub” used to be the rule for all, but the annoyingly smug and arrogant youngsters of the evermore irritating Millennial generation appear to have been convinced to throw the entire rule book out of the window with flagrant disregard for the truths contained therein. No wonder pub numbers are dwindling.

Lush is yet another organisation that seems hell bent on shrinking its appeal with proselytising. Obviously, it’s worked in the past, eh?

Sadly for Lush, consumers will vote with their feet on this one. If Lush are determined to diversify from cosmetics into political commentary, it is a brave and bold move indeed based on less customers attending their stores. Just look at the ample evidence from the myriad of examples across marketing history. Just look at Delta and the NRA perhaps?

No matter how clever these youngsters think they are, in being encouraged to destroy their own companies by becoming propagandists, it’s my guess that they’ll be blaming it on everyone else when they are all out of a job. Unless of course profits aren’t important and there is support available from other sources to prop the company up.

Are opinion pieces about Hard Left Marxist politics what people want to have to confront when buying some eyeliner? No. Some shall buy it nonetheless – and no doubt the zealots back at HQ shall take that as tacit approval of their marketing tactics. The risk – and more probable outcome – is an outright boycott amongst many other sections of the community that simply don’t view the entire world through the frankly warped lens that the UK Hard Left’s 7% politics provides.

Spectacular own goal is my best guess. Who is dumb enough to associate bearded Marx with luxury? The publicity Lush is getting right now is mostly negative.

It’s enough to make you blush.

Guest writer Tom Wilkins has worked more than two decades at the cutting edge of the digital marketing end of the London advertising industry. He lives in North London with his cats and guitars.