Saturday, 2 October 2010

Venomous Cowardice?

mac disney venomous villians

Blogging, blogging, blogging. For most of us it's a hobby we like to fit in in our spare time. But there are times when we feel we need to stop everything to talk about something and feel the urge to blog. Today it's one of these moments, my flat is a right pit, I've got stuff to do, I have not eaten since last night but I have got the urge to write about the Mac Venomous Villains “Blogger's Event'” which happened last Thursday.

Having been involved with lots of other bloggers in the Rodarte Mac awareness & action movement, I was very curious to see if Mac was going to take the opportunity to publicly update delegates on any Rodarte Mac collection follow up. I was also curious to see if bloggers sensitised to the Rodarte Mac scandal would take the chance to ask Mac on the topic. I was disappointed to say the least. All right, all right. I went totally ballistic ...

Having not read much about it from my blogger dashboard, I really really was anxious to know who else attended. This exercise first of all taught me that, for a beauty enthusiast and mini blogger, I really ought to extend my readership and there are still lots of bloggers I need to start adding to my subscriptions. Reading from these 'new people' and their tales from the Mac event didn't satisfy my curiosity and I still could not find whether anything was said about the Rodarte Mac collection donation, if anything was mentioned or asked. It was not long till I reached boiling point and I could not help from unleashing my frustration on twitter and then I found out ...

I found out first hand from others who attended that Mac didn't approach the topic, even if only to give a little update, and that there was no opportunity for bloggers to ask questions about it or any kind of serious questions on anything else either. I was fuming. Thousands of people had signed a petition about it, a minute lucky minority got the chance to meet Mac and I couldn't believe nothing had been said about it. My BFF used to say "flower, if you want to know something you "make" an opportunity to raise it" and I firmly believe that. And then I found out more ...

What really went on there? Could there be extenuating circumstances which prevented 'sensitised' bloggers to ask questions to the PR team? What kind of blogger's event is that when you can't interact with the people who hold it and cant' ask questions? Well the answer lies in the question really. It wasn't a Blogger's Event, it was more of a “Venomous villains Premiere Event” or an opportunity to purchase products earlier than the general public. It wasn't a Blogger's Event (it should have never been called or publicised that way) and that's why questions could not be asked and that is that.

Authentic Quotes from some bloggers who attended the event (Names have been removed for anonymity) (source: twitter)
 "It was basically a private shopping event" "The event was for people who love MAC and wanted to look at the pretty things. No deep discussions etc."
"too many people, no space, You had to push and shove to get to see products"

So how do I feel about the whole thing now that I know about the true nature of the event? Well, I realise it's not at all the responsibility of the PR team on that day to update the UK blogging community of the follow-up of a previous collection, at the very launch of a new one. But I was hoping that in the light of the past - but recent nonetheless - trauma that their collection had caused  that they would have thought it would have been a good idea to give the audience a little update on the topic, build bridges again to be able to enjoy the event (and future collections) without any ill feelings. How naive was I.

I realise also that you just can't turn up at an event, and hijack the agenda of the day and nor would I have expected anyone to put Mac (or the people representing the brand on the day) on the spot and embarrassed them asking them sensitive questions they hadn't had the chance to prepare.

Of course I am still frustrated but I am feeling more at peace that I understood the nature of 'event' to which beauty bloggers & Mac fans were invited. As one of the girls I follow on twitter said: "I think it would have been good to have a blogger event just after Rodarte, and not for a collection, to explain".

How do I feel about Mac now? Well, I will certainly carry on using my favourite foundation (Studio Fix) and beloved vanilla eyeshadow and will, definitely repurchase when I have run out, but I have been disappointed once again by the brand.


Lauren Loves... said...

Good of you to raise this Liloo. I doubt I would have been brave enough to bring it up had I been there so I don't necessarily blame the other bloggers. Maybe MAC should have provided an update though, as you say xx

Charlie said...

Well I think you understand my thoughts on whether or not I buy Mac now... if not just ask ;)

However, it didn't escape my notice that after upsetting a huge majority of Bloggers, Mac followed up with their first UK Blogging event. I don't think it was to really promote the new collection, I think it was to sweeten the blogging community.

I'd love to know what the criteria for getting an invite was though...

britishbeautyblogger said...

Totally get your frustration, but will (probably for the only time in my life!) spring to the defence of MAC. Basically the UK PR office is greatly controlled by the US - it's just that kind of brand. I think even if they had been asked, they would have been unable to say anything on the Rodarte topic because I imagine they will be under strict guidelines from the US. The best way to try and get answers is to contact MAC US where all the decisions are made; the UK press office is a kind of branch, where US is the tree - if you see what I mean. Ideally, you would approach Lauder HO in US - after all, although they operate independently, MAC is EL owned and it's probably an issue for a 'higher tier' than the UK press office. It would be unfair for them to come under scrutiny or questioning when the entire Rodarte idea came from the US and was controlled from the US from start to finish. Basically all the UK office could do was pass on messages from US. Not fair on them and not fair on UK bloggers either.

London Beauty Queen said...

I was actually at the event and if it was a 'sweetener' it didn't work very well. I've posted about it on my blog, but basically they didn't actually give any opportunity to see the products they were launching, let alone let us ask questions about anything else. But even if they did I'm unsure of how many people would have taken the opportunity to grill the PR team, knowing (as BBB says) they're basically the implementers for the US rather the ones that have control. I actually spoke to one of the girls outside (as we were sweating like cows inside in the midst of the scrum) and she said that exactly - the US come up with the events & they just implement them within guidelines.

MAC have a long way to go to understand bloggers. This first event was a fail, suprisingly even though the other brands within Lauder have done it so well. Please don't blame the bloggers that went though - I have to admit it wasn't even on my mind to ask as we were there for a different reason. It would have been good practice to have mentioned it, smoothed the ground and started afresh with a community that can clearly sell or kill a product line. But they didn't so we just have to hope they do better next time.

liloo said...

@laurenloves Thank you. For me, it would have been the obvious thing to do and plan for.

@charlie has S.O (sweeten operation) worked? Maybe it has for some real die-hard hardcore fans who attended the event. For me it has left a sour taste in my mouth. It is to be hoped that some of the delegates on the day will approach them and give some constructive feedback on the organisation of the event.

Thank you so much. :) :) :)
I have still so much to learn about how these things work. I would have felt sorry for the UK branch to have had to answer questions on the day. But if it was the US initiative to run this event, knowing full well the 'troubled waters' within the UK blogging community, I still think it would have been a good idea for the US to think ahead and provide a little update for the UK to pass on, even though update could have ended up clear as mud. (i still dont know exactly what they meant by SHIP - I hate for such important things like that, they use obscure lingo)
All I would have liked is for them
1. to acknowledge the 'bad stuff',
2. tell us quickly where the donation promise is at,
3. and thank bloggers to have come to the event despite huge uproar and thank them for their continued interest in the brand bla bla bla

@londonbeautyqueen I won't blame those who attended anymore. I was furious this morning but now I understand more.
"It would have been good practice to have mentioned it, smoothed the ground and started afresh" >>> totally, I couldn't agree more.
"community that can clearly sell or kill a product line" >> Sometimes I have doubts about that. The cult of MAC is a very powerful one, and I have come across some fans who you think would even buy mac products in exchange of their mother or kinda.
I keep on hearing about 'scrum'. How many people roughly were there?

britishbeautyblogger said...

Well it appears that MAC's entire ethos of dealing with Rodarte is to pretend it never happened. You are right - we are due an update for sure. But again, it's US driven and would be inappropriate to personally confront UK PRs but okay to ask them to ask US..if you see what I mean! x

Charlie said...

no, it didn't work! I think it probably annoyed half the people who went and alienated those who weren't invited.

I suspect Mac didn't need to sweeten the blogging community, many have forgotten already, and if it was their intention it failed, but I still think it was their motivation if you get what I mean? "Look at this lovely event we're having for you all, don't you love us again?"

if this sounds like a criticism of Mac its not supposed to, I mean, when you've had a PR crisis, you have to try and fix it otherwise you lose money!

London Beauty Queen said...

If you go to my post ( I've uploaded pics of the displays that were there - you'll see it was literally one of each product on a unit, all of which were on a table next to eachother. Put 30 people in a room all trying to have a look = not fun! I'm in the process of writing to the PRs to let them know my thoughts about the whole evening. MAC is a powerful brand, but if it wasn't for bloggers catching on to the Rodarte issue it would be available to buy... they have to realise how to deal with people. Oh dear MAC, pull your socks up.

Anonymous said...

You have written a very balanced and well thought out post here - sorry if that sounds patronising, it is not meant to in anyway, sometimes it is so hard to write how one would say something because we don't have little marks to denote where the stress should go or to show emotion. I suppose what I mean is that you have written about something which was very close to your heart and how you have come to terms with it - I love your blog for your creativity but I also love it for your words. Thankyou for your post. Jan

missy_ellie_uk said...

It sounds a little like MAC know they don't need to try very hard, because they are MAC, and everyone loves MAC and will let them off. Except this whole episode has soured my opinion of the brand a bit, and I can't be the only one. I agree, this would have been the perfect opportunity to update bloggers about what was going on, even if it was a pre-prepared statement sent over from US MAC, at the very least.

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