Today I received in my inbox an email regarding today's date being used as a pro-marijuana reference by Urban Decay's promotion team. As a mother, health professional, and someone who does not promote illegal drug use, I find this ad offensive and inappropriate. I sent Urban Decay an email and if you feel this way as well, please speak up. I do not feel that a major cosmetics company should use drugs as a platform for advertising and will no longer purchase from Urban Decay- which is a terrible choice for me as I do enjoy their products.
I'm embarrassed and offended. Urban Decay's promotion team truly made a mistake with this campaign and I hope this doesn't happen again. If this is condoned, it's a sad reflection on our society that implies that drugs are acceptable, branded as chic, and used in a joking manner to sell cosmetics. I don't agree that this is appropriate to use a toxic, unhealthy substance to promote anything, much less makeup. It's also unfortunate that there wasn't any type of apology or warning and this email could be viewed by anyone, a genuine problem as many customers could be children. This was a very poor decision on the part of UD's marketing and from today onward, they've lost a loyal customer.
Here is the email I sent:
To Whom It May Concern,
I am grossly offended by today's advertisements and the email I received regarding 4/20 and hints at marijuana use. I'm aware of the date and it's popularity in this vein of reference, but as I don't associate with drug users, I wouldn't necessarily expect it's promotion by a major cosmetics brand. How can Urban Decay condone promoting drug use in their marketing? I am ashamed of your promotion team and executives that approved this material as appropriate for your consumers.
As a nursing professional in the healthcare industry, I am appalled that Urban Decay would promote a toxic substance (illegal in most states) as part of your marketing campaign. References like "roach" and "baked" and "take a double hit" are deeply offensive to your customers such as myself who don't approve of drugs or drug-related vernacular. As I have personally seen the negative effects of marijuana use in the community, I cannot understand how Urban Decay could find this appropriate in any manner. As many of your consumers may not even be of legal age, this is a blatant disregard of children and young teens who are lured into the brand because of it's chic appeal. There wasn't even a warning of references to drug use or an apology to consumers for drug references. Do you assume your customers are pro-marijuana by default? Is this what Urban Decay is promoting for it's consumer base- illegal drug use? Can your marketing team truly be at peace with promoting drug use to minors? How this was agreed upon by Urban Decay's marketing team comprised of grown adults is impossible to understand.
I am a loyal customer, a makeup professional by hobby and trade and as I am completing my upper level degree in clinical practice and nursing, I am shocked at the lack of professionalism and blatant disregard for Urban Decay's customers that this ad portrays. I would never advocate drug use to a patient, much less in a world-wide promotion that could be viewed by anyone, adult or not.
I hope this ad is retracted and apology issued and Urban Decay cleans up their act. Until then, you won't get another cent from me.
Tianne (I used my full name)
Here is the ad I am referencing:
The subject of the email was: "It's 4/20. Light It Up!" Screencap of my inbox below:
Here are screencaps of the ad in my inbox:
Urban Decay is no longer a brand I support due to the offensive material in this ad campaign.