Bioré and an influencer faced backlash for a sponsored video that mentioned a school shooting.
In the video, the influencer Cecilee Max-Brown talked about coping with anxiety after she survived the shooting.
Critics said the brand's video, which was part of a mental health awareness campaign, trivialized school shootings.
The skincare brand Bioré and a TikTok influencer faced backlash on social media for a promotion that some people said trivialized school shootings.
Influencer Cecilee Max-Brown posted a sponsored video to her nearly 30,000 followers on TikTok last Friday. In the video, a series of clips shows Max-Brown working out and doing her skincare routine — overlaid with a voiceover where she talks about how she's dealt with anxiety after surviving a school shooting at Michigan State University.
Max-Brown recently graduated from Michigan State University, the Washington Post reported. A deadly school shooting took place there in February,
—Thomas (@capt_thomas1492) May 19, 2023
In the video, which was a part of the skincare brand's Mental Health Awareness Month campaign, Max-Brown said: "Life has thrown countless obstacles at me this year. From a school shooting, to having no idea what life is going to look like after college. I will never forget the feeling of terror that I had walking around campus for weeks in a place I considered my home. With countless anxiety attacks to crying alone in my room at night."
The original video was taken down less than 24 hours after it was posted, but has since circulated on social media.
Recordings of the ad have garnered millions of views and comments from people on social media criticizing the video.
One person tweeted: "These brand partnerships have gone too far. Biore teaming up with a mass shooting victim to 'get it all out' crazy" — referencing the brand's slogan for the campaign to "strip away the stigma of anxiety" by using a Bioré pore strip to "get it all out."
—Mia Tretta (@mia_tretta) May 20, 2023
Bioré and Max-Brown have both released statements since then.
On Sunday, Max-Brown posted a statement to her TikTok saying, "This was strictly meant to spread awareness about the struggles that I have had with anxiety since our school shooting. This partnership was not intending to come off as the product of fixing the struggles I've had since this event."
Max-Brown did not respond to Insider's request for comment in time for publication.
A Bioré spokesperson told Insider that the brand's intention wasn't to imply Bioré products would help with mental health. Rather, the video's intention was to give the influencer a platform to share her story with mental health, as part of the brand's larger message to reduce the stigma around having conversations about mental health, the spokesperson said.
Bioré also posted a statement to the brand's Instagram on Sunday, saying the advertisement "lacked sensitivity around an incredibly serious tragedy, and our tonality was completely inappropriate."
"This is our mistake, and we own it. We let our community down and we let our creators down by not providing better guidance," the statement read.
Update, May 25, 2023: This story was updated with an additional statement from a Bioré spokesperson.
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