A Brooklyn-based beauty brand came under fire earlier this week for using the tragic attacks in Paris to drive up nail polish sales. According to the New York Post, members of the press received an email blast from Duri Cosmetics yesterday that suggests “beauty mavens” purchase red, white and blue polish from their nail care line so that they “can unite and wave hands (and toes) in unity.” The email went on to propose that wearing the line’s “Baton Rouge Blue” “I Do” (solid white) and “Parisian Tango” (red) polish is an “effortless way to pay respects and show support.”
Of course, many were not impressed by the PR stunt, especially since none of the proceeds were going towards victims or their families.
“Unfortunately, they [Duri Cosmetics] had trouble getting a donation program with it,” said a spokesperson for the brand, which is represented by Manhattan PR firm C.I. Visions.
According to Refinery29, Carol A. Ientile, President of C.I. Visions, drafted and sent the email without showing it to her client. She has since apologized for the misstep.
“In retrospect, I could have been a better human being and seen that this could have been making light of the situation,” Ientile said.
She went on to explain that she was inspired by the outpouring of support by Facebook users who utilized the red-white-and-blue filter, and thought it would be a “cute” way to join in.
“I got inspired by social media, I felt so sad,” she said. “I wanted to see what we can do. I love being supportive and was happy to be part of making a difference.”
And yes, the owners of Duri Cosmetics were mortified by her actions.
“I want to own my mistake,” she said. “They were appalled that their brand was a part of this controversy.”