Intergalactic Purpose

What words would you use to describe Lush? Renewability? Facials? Bathbombs? What about purpose? Purpose gives every brand an edge and shoppers have a reason to be a customer. Lush is a proud supporter of all things human and animal rights. The right to housing and women’s rights are just two of the many causes funded by their charity pots and it doesn’t end there. Lush has pages and pages on their own website describing every cause they support and they’re pretty good at publicising it, too. So what went wrong this time?

High-Street Rep

Lush says it tries to make a difference where it can, and always does so with everything it has. Staff tailor every visit to suit the customer, their policies are about “Ethical Buying” and a dedicated “Freshness” policy to ensure their products are always of high quality. Lush never advertises their own products and instead use their success to bring attention to causes they believe need help. The cosmetics overlord is also famed for its bathbombs, gift sets, makeup and infamous smells. Bath products are all the rage across the world. It seems that, despite never having run an advertisement for the brand in their entire existence, Lush’s bathbombs are all the rage. Vloggers, Instagram stars and even my mum have created aesthetic posts and videos from the explosion of colour in every bath bomb. Challenges, hauls and a whole other medium of content help celebrate the brand across the web.

Shots Fired

Back to the question at hand: what went wrong this time? We’ll tell you. Anti-spy displays were set up in Lush stores across the UK in an effort to bring attention to Police Spies, a part of police service for the past 50 years. They were trying to get the public to recognise what they saw as deceit by the police. Hundreds of people were led into sexual relationships by undercover police in an effort to get information out of them which led to those people being incarcerated or otherwise disciplined by the UK courts. What made this particular campaign bad was that the face of it, literally, was really misleading.

So it Bath-Bombed

As good as Lush’s intentions might have been, this campaign didn’t work out for them. Thousands of debates have been popping up over the past week. Facebook has seen many of them:

Thousands of people have taken to Lush’s facebook page to complain directly and make sure they feel the impact of their own campaign.


There are some people who feel Lush has gotten all the wrong attention:

A Botched Revision?

Lush released a statement of its own, talking about its failings and what it as a company wanted to achieve:

Lush released this statement only a few days ago to combat backlash and attack from around the UK. What do you think about Lush’s statement to the public and the police? Is it genuine or are they back-pedalling in order to save face? Boycotts are being promoted across the UK and Ireland, but will you personally boycott the brand? Let us know by tweeting us @engagehub.

Want to learn more about Brand Purpose? Read here about the dos and do nots of brand purpose and purpose advertising.