- UK cosmetics company Lush shut down many of its social media accounts on Black Friday.
- Lush cited the Facebook whistleblower’s revelations about social media harms being ignored.
- CEO Mark Constantine told The Guardian he’s “happy to lose” $13 million from the reduced exposure.
Cosmetics company Lush shut down its Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat accounts globally on Friday, citing its concern about the harms of social media in the wake of Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen’s revelations.
“In the same way that evidence against climate change was ignored and belittled for decades, concerns about the serious effects of social media are going largely ignored now,” the company said in its press release earlier this week.
Lush’s announcement came just ahead of one of the biggest days of shopping all year, and the brand fully expected that losing its pipelines to millions of customers could harm its business.
But CEO Mark Constantine actually embraced that tradeoff.
“I’m happy to lose £10 million by quitting Facebook,” he told The Guardian, referring to the money ($13.3 million) he expects the company could lose by shuttering its accounts.
Lush’s Facebook and Instagram accounts had a combined 10.6 million followers, according to The Guardian.
“We’ve tightened up over the Covid period, it won’t destroy us,” Constantine told The Guardian, adding that Lush had “no choice” given Meta’s own research about Instagram’s adverse impact on teen girls’ mental health.
“We’re talking about suicide here, not spots or whether someone should dye their hair blonde,” Constantine continued, telling The Guardian: “How could we possibly suggest we’re a caring business if we look at that and don’t care?”
Lush has taken public stands on various social issues in recent years, and previously quit Facebook and Instagram in 2019 because it was “tired of fighting with algorithms, though it ultimately returned to the platforms.
Lush isn’t alone there: many major advertisers boycotted Meta’s Facebook and Instagram platforms in 2020 following George Floyd’s death at the hands of police officers, only to return months later.
But Lush said it’s committed to staying off social media this time.
“We haven’t done it as a PR stunt, we have done it for genuine reasons,” Constantine told The Guardian, adding that if the brand reversed course again, he’d “be a laughing stock.”