Makeup company under fire after addiction-themed marketing campa - KMOV.com

Makeup company under fire after addiction-themed marketing campaign

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OLIVETTE, Mo. (KMOV.com) -- In what’s being called a “beauty blunder,” makeup company Urban Decay is under fire for what many are calling the glamorization of drug addiction.

The company is selling an eye shadow shade called "druggie," and the marketing materials for the company reference "beauty junkies" and say "addiction has its perks."

According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, based in Olivette, Missouri, Urban Decay also offers a rewards program which states its members can get "higher and higher."

“I was just appalled,” said Christina DeShields, a prevention educator with the NCADA. “I couldn't believe, in throes of drug epidemic we are in, the marketing team thought this was something okay to do.”

Part of DeShields‘ job is to meet with young people from kindergarten through high school to educate them on the dangers of drugs.

“We are in schools talking to students about making  healthy choices,” she said. “But then we have companies that like to profit and commercialize unhealthy choices.”

Those who are fighting drug addiction were also shocked at Urban Decay’s messaging, saying the message seemed to glorify a brutally difficult struggle.

“There is nothing glamorous or sexy about addiction,” said Jeanne Cordingley, who began drinking in her teenage years and eventually moved on to drug use.

She has been sober for 22 years, the product of intense work and discipline. Seeing a makeup company market a product based on that struggle was shocking.

“I can only imagine they don't know the reality of what the struggle is. They see dollars and don't understand this is people's lives,” said Cordingley.

Several stores around St. Louis carry the Urban Decay line of makeup, including Sephora at the Galleria and Ulta Beauty in Brentwood.

Jan Sayers is the mother of three teenage boys. As a parent she knows that it's tough enough for young people when it comes to making the right choices.

“It's just so wrong. It sends the wrong message,” she said. “I would tell them they are contributing to an epidemic problem and it's wrong.”

News 4 reached out multiple times to Urban Decay at the company’s California headquarters.

Reporters spoke with employees but are awaiting an official company response.

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