UPDATE (January 29, 2018, 4:15 P.M. EST): A few weeks ago, we reported on perhaps the most niche (and random) beauty feud of 2018. Beauty industry newcomer Deciem, which owns fan-favorite brands The Ordinary and NIOD, had slyly fired shots at skin-care brand Drunk Elephant in a social media advertisement. “One would have to be drunk to overpay for Marula,” the ad read. Almost immediately, fans chiming in on the ad on Reddit, calling out Deciem for a seemingly uncalled-of “attack.”
And now, weeks later, Deciem is responding. The company’s founder, Brandon Truaxe, took to Instagram, which he runs himself, to apologize for the “distasteful post” on Sunday night. “Lastly, speaking of elephants, I once wrote that one would have to be drunk to overpay for Marula oil which was a distasteful joke that arose from my familiarity with the beautiful brand, @drunkelephantskincare,” he wrote in a rather lengthy caption.
He continued: “@tiffanymasterson: I’m sorry. When I met you at the WWD breakfast, I saw a beautiful soul. And you have worked hard to build a beautiful brand. Please forgive me. I have now adjusted that distasteful post and we will donate $25,000 to the peaceful elephant charity that your brand supports: @savetheelephants. Our super-fast and loving @smjr2000 will arrange for this donation to be made this week. Hug, Brandon ❤️.”
See the full post, below.
View on Instagram
This post originally appeared on January 12, 2018.
The Ordinary made a name for itself as a “good guy” of the beauty industry, serving up high-quality, no-frills skin-care ingredients at a cheaper price. (Think of it as the generic brand of your favorite products.) But rather than letting its products speak for themselves, The Ordinary made a head-scratching move by calling out another major skin-care brand in advertising that seems, well, catty.
In a recent social media ad, The Ordinary took an obvious jab at fellow skin-care company Drunk Elephant (the beauty brand behind the fan-favorite T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial) over marula oil.
The post, shared by Redditor Kikekakako, starts off touting The Ordinary’s 100% Cold-Pressed Virgin Marula Oil ($10 for a 30-milliliter bottle), an antioxidant-rich, brightening hydrator. Then comes the dig. “Referred to as a ‘luxury’ oil by some…It’s a fantastic oil in every sense of the word despite its affordability (one would have to be drunk to overpay for Marula),” the ad reads in obvious reference to Drunk Elephant’s Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil, which is $72 for a 30-milliliter bottle. Yikes. You can see the whole thing, here.
The incendiary ad seems poised to start a beauty feud — though specifically targeting Drunk Elephant, you could say the same thing about all other brands across ingredients and price points. But here’s the real problem with The Ordinary’s ad: It’s not just calling out Drunk Elephant, it’s insulting all the beauty lovers who buy it.
While ingredients are obviously super important, people buy products for any number of reasons. Maybe you like the way the packaging looks sitting on your shelf. Maybe the scent of a certain brand what draws you in. Maybe you like the luxe feeling you get from splurging on a high-end product. It’s all based on personal choice.
Bottom line: The Ordinary, which we’ve quickly come to love for bringing inexpensive products to the market, shouldn’t be judging people who want to buy a different brand — one would have to be drunk to think that’s okay.
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