#SOUTHAFRICA: The popular retail brand Mr Price, on Tuesday launched their beauty range, Scarlet Hill. However, there’s just one thing that was missing from their launch marketing collateral – the face of the South African Indian consumer.
Much to the excitement of customers, the retail brand Mr Price, has found itself dealing with backlash from the South African Indian community for perpetuating a lack of diversity in the launch campaign of the beauty range, Scarlet Hill.
Award-winning South African artist Shekhinah is the face of the brand, while celebrity make-up artist Lungile Thabethe leads role of head make-up artist for Scarlet Hill.
The Scarlet Hill beauty range offers over 200 products across 8 beauty touchpoints, including lipsticks, eyeshadows, BB creams, beauty tools and fragrances.
When a disaster of this nature occurs, brands tend to resist even as they offer mea culpas. They would never ever want to say they f*cked up and also explain how such blunders have come to pass.
Such is the case of Mr Price in this Scarlet Hill beauty range launch
The province of KwaZulu-Natal is home to over 1 million South African Indian consumers and also the headquarters for Mr Price.
So we have to ask you Mr Price,
How did an entire Mr Price creative team miss the inclusion of the SA Indian consumer that also contributes to your bottom-line?
Instead of damage-control, Mr Price is dealing with every angry Indian consumer by responding with this copy-and-paste statement below.
Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback about our new beauty brand: Scarlet Hill. As a brand, individuality and inclusivity are at the heart of everything we do.Mr Price
From our Scarlet Hill team to the products we have created, giving our customer an opportunity to express themselves is very important us.
We hear you and going forward, we will be taking all of this valued feedback as an opportunity to grow and better Scarlet Hill for our customers.
The Indian-consumer wants answers
The blanket-response in relation to this burning saga has led to further outrage from South African consumers and there is no official statement from Mr Price.
Social media users including that of celebrity Durban makeup artist, Neil Ramautar have called out Mr Price for the lack of diversity in the Scarlet Hill launch campaign. Soon after his Instagram post had gone viral, a meeting was requested with Ramautar and the Mr Price managing director to ‘discuss’ taking the matter forward.
Following the meeting with Neil Ramautar on Friday, no official statement has been issued by Mr Price to the public regarding this meeting. However some highlights of the meeting were shared on social media by Ramautar.
Have a look
Ramautar was unapologetic on Instagram, calling out Mr Price for failing to represent the SA Indian consumer in their Scarlet Hill beauty launch campaign.
Our sister site, UrbanAsian.com is also questioning the lack of diversity in Mr Price’s Scarlet Hill beauty campaign.
Indians are continuously told that they are not the right “look” for certain campaigns, well maybe that’s because of the eurocentric beauty standards that sadly still exist in our rainbow nation.
A standard that should be dismantled! It certainly left many people disappointed!Crown The Brown, Urban Asian
Watch the Scarlet Hill campaign video that sparked the outrage
In the recent years H& M – one of the largest clothing retailers in the world and a repeat offender -had been taken to task over a children’s hoodie.
The hoodie emblazoned with the phrase “coolest monkey in the jungle” modeled in marketing materials by a young black boy. The description used dehumanized black people, setting off protests at South African stores that left mannequins toppled and racks overturned.
Mr Price has been approached for comment, no official response has been shared on any of the Mr Price social media platforms.
Tell us what you think!